FOX47 NEWS - Safe Rides

Jeff Angileri
Dec 10, 2007, 11:19 PM

One early Saturday morning in November, David and Rose Bongiovani experienced every parents worse nightmare.

They were told that their daughter 17-year-old Sierra Bongiovanni, and her friend Michelle Koster-died in a car crash near Lodi. Sierra had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit.

A former Dane County detective, David Bongiovani never though it would happen to him.

In law enforcement I thought, what would I do if this was me... I found out, He says.

He looked right at me and said is dead. And we went outside and she was gone, says Rose Bongiovani.

The family says the experience has not only been heart wrenching, it has been an eye opener. Now they want to turn their pain into purpose.

I can't just sit and watch.. I have to get up in the moring and do something, says Rose Bongiovani.

The couple has been talking with the boys scouts of america to develop a program that offers safe rides to students.

The city of Oshkosh has a similar student run program where volunteers take calls from teens who may have been drinking or just need a ride. Those operators then dispatch drivers to take them home.

Parents and students gathered at Waunakee High School Monday to discuss the program. Some students say it offers another option than calling their parents.

David Bongiovani says they are still trying to get the school districts support. He says if he can save one kid with the program, it will be worth it.

If there is anything we can do.. anything we can do so this doesn't happen to another family- it will be worth all the turmoil it will make for us, says David Bongiovani.

David Bongiovani says the program isn't just for kids who have been drinking. He says drivers would also pick up teens from situations like a bad date or simply a ride home from the movies.

The identification of the riders could remain confidential.

Bongiovanni says they are looking for adult supervisors over the age of 21, Dispatchers and drivers between the hours of 10pm and 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you would like to help call 608-444-2669.

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