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Niko DiNovo's family works to stop people from drinking and driving

August 13, 2019 07:55 PM

ALBANY -- Niko DiNovo's brother Michael and mother Alicia joined a Stop-DWI event outside the state Capitol on Wednesday. 

A statewide crackdown on impaired driving runs from Wednesday through Labor Day weekend. 

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In October 2016, Niko DiNovo of Colonie was 16 years old and a passenger in a car with an impaired driver.  The car smashed into Blessings Tavern in Colonie.

Niko suffered third-degree burns on over 95-percent of his body. 

"These were the scariest moments of our life," said Niko's brother, Michael. "Watching our boy go through so much pain for so long."

At the event in Albany Tuesday, his mother shared a photo of him in the burn unit.

"This was a very hard decision for us, as a family, to show Niko's picture after the accident, but we felt the impact would be so much greater," said Niko's mother, Alicia DiNovo, through tears. "If we could stop at least one person from driving under the influence, then we did what we set out to do - stop a mom from feeling the pain I feel every single day."

Niko fought to live for 17 months, through unbearable pain and 29 surgeries, before losing his battle last year. 

His family struggles with their loss. 

"Every day," said mother Alicia.  "Every day."

"There's not a day that goes by that we don't wake up and just think about him," added brother Michael.  "She goes to visit him every single morning."

Niko's brother wants people to have their fun, but have a plan. 

"This is what it's all about," he said. "This is why we share his picture. To make people know that this is what could happen. It's not a game. This is your life."

Credits

Kumi Tucker

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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