To many people, their wedding day is the happiest day they can remember. That's because it's when your 'happily ever after' life truly begins.
That is not how one bride remembers the day she tied the knot.
Generally, on this special day, family and friends make a big fuss over the bride and the groom as they join them in celebrating the momentous occasion.
And that is precisely what had happened for the happy couple.
After the event, the bride's parents, her sister and her husband, and her two nieces got in a limousine to head home.
All were happy with how the wedding had turned out, and love and good cheer was in the air.
Unfortunately, the day turned out to have an especially ugly ending for the group riding in the limo. As they were heading from Long Island, they entered the highway, and so did another driver.
He was a 24-year-old by the name of Martin Heidgen. He was drunk, speeding, and driving on the wrong side of the road.
When the two vehicles met, what resulted was a gory accident that turned the day of joy into a day of pain and gloom.
The limo driver, 59-year-old Stanley Rabinowitz, died immediately. He was crushed by the engine.
Christopher, the bride's father, was thrown to the floor of the limo and his legs were broken in several places. Once he was in the hospital, he had to have both legs amputated.
The bride's brother-in-law suffered a broken back. His wife, the bride's sister, suffered an injury to her foot.
As her sister's husband was crawling from the car to seek help, his wife Jennifer was trying to look for Katie, their daughter.
The little girl had been beside her during the ride before the accident happened.
But nothing would have prepared her for what she saw.
Her daughter had been decapitated by the safety-belt!
Coincidentally, the first person to respond to the accident scene was Michael Tangney, an uncle to the bride. He was also a cop and had been at the wedding some hours back.
The first person he met was the bride's brother-in-law, who said to him, "Don't go back there. It's bad."
But he had a job to do.
When he finally opened the limousine door, the truth hit him. This was his family. That made what he was about to witness even more horrible.
The bride's sister Jennifer emerged from the limo holding her daughter's head.
Her body was still in the car, with the dress she was so happy to wear at the wedding.
The devastated mother sat at the side of the road with her daughter's head, before handing it over to Michael.
She could not let go before kissing her face one last time.
When the police report later came in, it was discovered that the drunk driver's alcohol level was 3 times over the legal limit. He had downed 14 drinks before getting behind the wheel. Heidgen then drove at 70 mph on the wrong side of the road for at least two miles before the accident with the limo stopped him.
He faces 18-years of imprisonment with two counts of second-degree murder.
But 18 years will never be enough time to erase the pain and devastation that Jennifer and her family suffered on that day.
Her desire today is that people realize how serious drunk driving is.