Xavier Perez, 21, was headed for great things when his life was cut short on June 26, 2010. When his friends were in need, Xavier was always there to lend a helping hand. He had been home for the evening and in bed when his friends called asking for a ride home because they were intoxicated. Xavier could not ignore their plea for help and set out in the wee hours of June 26th to pick them up. They were on Interstate 91, when a friend of Xavier’s became ill in the car, so he pulled over in the HOV lane so his friend could get out of the car.
As Xavier and his friends were outside of the car, another driver, Mr. Doughty, was heading down the highway. A witness recalled to the police that he was next to a car that seemed to be traveling at the same speed as him and within the lane lines, when he saw Xavier’s car ahead. He then witnessed Mr. Doughty’s car begin to travel into the next lane and thought that perhaps he knew the occupants of the broken down car and was going to help them.
Unfortunately Mr. Doughty never applied the brakes as he veered into Xavier’s car, pinning Xavier in between the two cars and ultimately causing his death. Xavier’s family attended every court date and actively talked with the prosecutor to ensure that Mr. Doughty was given a harsh punishment for the crime he had
On January 26, 2012, Mr. Doughty was sentenced to 3 years execution suspended and 3 years probation for the charge of Misconduct with a Motor Vehicle. Mr. Doughty received no jail time but a long list of conditions to follow. Xavier’s family was shocked and angry that the Judge would sentence a man who had killed their son to no jail time, but accepted it and hoped he would turn his life around and follow all of the conditions set by the court. However, on the evening of March 17, 2012, Mr. Doughty was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence.
He also failed to comply with one condition of his probation that would have prevented him from driving that night, the installation of an ignition interlock device. Xavier’s family is actively seeking harsh punishment for the new crime Mr. Doughty committed citing that he was given a chance once.
MADD advocates have helped the Perez family since 2010 providing them with support and guidance.
(Editor's Note: The headquarters for the Connecticut Chapter of MADD is at 317 Foxon Road in East Haven.)