A photo of Marco Bullo, a 14-year old who lost his life in a car accident involving drunk driving. (Photo Courtesy of Castille Lee)

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Opinion: How the death of 14-year-old Marco Bullo calls for drunk driving awareness

The deaths of Marco Bullo, and his father, Andrea Bullo, emphasize the need for drunk driving awareness so families no longer have to endure the sudden loss of loved ones.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/castillelee/" target="_self">Castille Lee</a>

Castille Lee

December 19, 2022
“I feel that I’m just living a long nightmare and I’m just waiting to wake up. How can I live without him? I don’t have anybody now,” said Ira Soebroto, mother of Marco Bullo.

On November 1, 2022, Marco Bullo, age 14, tragically passed away due to a fiery car accident on Muholland Drive in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. His body was reported by police officers and firefighters to be trapped in the blazing flames alongside his father, Andrea Bullo, who was the owner of the popular Italian restaurant Moonshadows in Malibu, California. Kevin Gonzales, the driver who recently turned 21 years old, will be facing several charges under two counts of murder and driving under the influence. The alleged drunk driver walked away from his Toyota Camry with minor injuries. Marco and Andrea were consumed by the blazing fire with no time to escape.

Drunk driving needs to be recognized in a serious matter. It intoxicates individuals and consequently increases tragedies such as the death of Marco and Andrea Bullo. This should never happen to anyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. adolescents. Every day, 29 people die in a car accident that involves an alcohol-impaired driver. One death in every 50 minutes. One life lost.

Roses, cards, and candles are placed in memory of Marco and Andrea Bulllo on Muholland Drive. (Photo Courtesy of Castille Lee)

For those who remembered Marco, he was full of life, spirit, and joy. He would do anything to put a smile on your face because his ultimate goal was to entertain and show off his dancing abilities. His silly dance moves were never boring and his lively energy was contagious. As an avid athlete and drummer, Marco had an abundance of talent with a personality that glistened like no other. He was determined to find the next person he can make smile, which made him an unforgettable person. Everyone wanted to be in Marco’s presence. He was one that can instantly light up the room with his optimism.

The National Impaired Driving Prevention Month promotes December to raise awareness for drunk driving. Amidst the holiday season, it is crucial to be aware of the consequences of DUI. A person’s reaction and coordination will slow down before they show signs of intoxication. Communicating about the horrific effects of drunk driving with family members, friends, and colleagues will save lives. Educating yourself about the effects of the dangers of alcohol will increase the chances of survival. Never let a drunk driver go behind the wheel.

I have known Marco for years. His personality was striking when I first met him because his positive energy was like a bolt of lightning. He also instinctually knew how to be a gentleman, and I truly believe he got this trait from his father. We used to eat traditional Indonesian food together, watch movies, play soccer in his backyard, go trick-or-treating during Halloween, and run around his hilly neighborhood.

Marco will always be remembered for all those who loved and knew him.

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