Family of Mia Tujillo speaks out after sentencing of drunk driver

One year after the accident, a Pine Belt family is continuing to heal.
An overwhelming amount of joy, overshadowed by an unbearable loss. Tabitha Taylor is still coping with the loss of her 14-year-old daughter, Mia Trujillo.
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 7:40 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARION COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - An overwhelming amount of joy, still overshadowed by an unbearable loss. Tabitha Taylor is still coping with the loss of her 14-year-old daughter, Mia Trujillo.

“We just try to live like she would want us to live,” Taylor said.

Family members say they want Trujillo to be remembered for her contagious smile and bright personality.

Last year, Trujillo was a 14-year-old girl getting ready to enter her freshman year of high school when a drunk driver, Jeremy Stringer of Foxworth, hit her while she was riding her four-wheeler. Stringer was sentenced to 25 years in the Mississippi department of corrections after pleading guilty to aggravated DUI.

Taylor said it’s hard knowing that Trujillo can only live through pictures and memories.

“I was relieved that he did get something,” said Taylor. “No amount of years. Even if he got life, it wouldn’t make me happy because it will never bring Mia back.”

With a strong support system by her side, Taylor said it’s a little easier to get through the day. Her sister, Stephanie Hernandez, agreed.

“We have a great community,” said Hernandez. “We’ve had a lot of people in Columbia, Marion County, even outside of Marion County, standing behind us and be with us every step of the way.”

Step-by-step Taylor and Hernandez said they would continue to keep Mia’s name alive.

“We’ve gotten into playing soccer at church; her dad is teaching the kids at church how to play soccer,” said Taylor.

Taylor is also creating a foundation in her daughter’s name in hopes that people understand the importance of choosing not to drink and drive.

Every day almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.

Want more WDAM 7 news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.