A Tucson mother whose son was killed by a drag racer last year will walk in tomorrow's Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix.
Diane Larson and her sister will walk with the Donate Life Arizona balloon. Larson’s son, Stephen Larson, was an organ donor whose death saved five lives, according to the Donor Network of Arizona. Stephen’s family has since been in contact with all the recipients.
Stephen, a 29-year-old baker at Bashas’, was on his way to work at about 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 15, 2011 when two men drag racing sped through a red light at North Oracle and West River Roads and hit Stephen’s car.
Street racer Damaso Alavez 22, was convicted this year of second-degree murder, endangerment, criminal damage and three misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and sentenced to 18 1/4 years in prison for causing Stephen’s death.
Alavez and another driver, Matthew Leiter, were racing at the time of the crash, with Alavez traveling between 91 and 95 miles an hour, according to court testimony. Blood tests also revealed Alavez had more than two and a half times the legal limit of alcohol in his system, along with cocaine and marijuana.
Leiter was sentenced to six months in jail.
Stephen was the youngest of Diane Larson’s three children. He was about to start culinary school and was planning to get married.