Sign unveiling, special DUI patrol to honor Graham teen killed by drunk driver

Staff writerFebruary 19, 2014 

Pierce County hopes that two new memorial signs and a special DUI emphasis patrol will remind drivers in East Pierce County about the dangers of impaired driving.

The signs will be unveiled at a ceremony near Graham on Friday, according to a county news release, "to remember a Bethel Junior High School student whose life was tragically cut short by a drunk driver."

Daniel Morse, 14, was killed Dec. 27, 2009, after crossing the 9800 block of 204th Street East at dusk and riding his skateboard on the side of the road.

Darrell Andrew Ross – who was driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit of 0.08 – swerved and hit Morse, throwing the teen into the air. Ross was convicted after admitting to the crime and served 23 months in prison, the news release says.

“We usually install one memorial sign in memory of victims, but we are installing two in this case,” Sharon Reynon of the Tacoma Pierce County DUI Victim’s Panel said in the release. “This is to doubly remind motorists of the toll impaired driving can take on families.”

In addition to the signs, Tacoma Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force will conduct a special DUI emphasis patrol on Saturday night.

At least 25 troopers, deputies and officers will hunt for impaired drivers throughout East Pierce County, including near the site where Morse was killed. Task force members will hand out memorial flyers about the teen to the motorists they stop.

Kari Plog: 253-597-8682
Follow Kari on Twitter: @KariPlog

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