Woman killed in DUI chain reaction

April 30, 2008 6:16:09 PM PDT
A Montgomery County family is coming to terms with a devastating loss over the weekend. "What she did for others - what she made others do for themselves and their families and for the community, was truly extraordinary. And the city is a sadder place without her," said the victim's husband Jay Schinfeld.

Jay is still trying to process his wife Sandy's sudden and tragic death.

Sunday at around midnight police say 24-year-old Danielle Witherspoon plowed into 5 cars stopped at a red light on North Broad Street. She's been charged with homicide and driving under the influence.

The Schinfelds were heading home from the Kimmel Center when Sandy's passenger side was crushed. Emergency surgery at Einstein Hospital couldn't save her.

Jay Schinfeld, a surgeon himself, suffered injuries to his head, ribs and hands.

"But that's nothing, because I'm alive to feel the pain and my wife's not. So, that's what's really broken in me is my heart," says Schinfeld.

Sandy was known for her generosity and warm smile. She did volunteer work and served as vice president of her synagogue. At 58, Sandy Schinfeld was just about to get her PhD in public health at Temple University. For years, she put off getting her degree so she could focus on her family.

The Schinfelds were married for almost 40 years and raised 2 sons. Jay Schinfeld says he hopes Sandy's death saves other lives by highlighting how destructive it is to use drugs or alcohol and get behind the wheel.

He tells Action News, "If people hear about this and they understand the affect of this on individual families, maybe they won't ignore it. Maybe they won't be hardened, or they can literally try to change something. Start with yourself, as Sandy would say, then try to change the world."