- The Washington Times - Friday, May 25, 2001

Stacey Edmonds had recently been accepted to Howard Universitys medical school and was so focused on saving for her education that she lived at home and rarely splurged on dining out or catching a movie.
In fact, the 25-year-old Alexandria woman was on her way home from her job as a home health aide last Sunday when police say a man with previous drunken-driving convictions slammed his Monte Carlo into the back of her Honda Civic, killing her instantly.
Now, Miss Edmonds family is trying to make sense of her death.
"She was our world and my best friend," Millie Edmonds said of her daughter. "We were very close and we had a bond that few could understand."
At around 2:13 a.m. May 19, Miss Edmonds was stopped at a red light at Route 50 and Lee Road in Fairfax County. Police say Keith James MacDonald, 24, of Loudoun County, was traveling 95 mph when his Chevrolet Monte Carlo plowed into Miss Edmonds car, which flipped over, killing her.
Mr. MacDonald, who was not injured, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said.
Court records show Mr. MacDonald was arrested for drunken driving in 1998 and, after pleading guilty, received a 30-day suspended sentence and a $500 fine, which was also suspended. As part of the sentencing, he was to attend an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), but he didnt show up, court records show. He was arrested in May of that year for contempt of court, and his license was suspended for a year. He got his license back at the end of the year without attending the alcohol-awareness program.
"I cant understand how a man who was convicted of a DWI before and did not complete the ASAP, could pay $500, get his license and be back on the street," said Miss Edmonds brother-in-law, Richard Caples.
Before leaving work that morning, Miss Edmonds — who also attended classes at Northern Virginia Community College — called home to let her mother know she would be home soon and not to worry, Mrs. Edmonds said.
At 3 a.m. Mrs. Edmonds, 55, said she received a knock at her door. She said she knew something was wrong, "but I never imagined that the state trooper would tell me that my Stacey was gone."
On Monday, the Edmonds family received a phone call at 11 a.m. from a Howard University enrollment representative who wanted to tell them that Stacey had been accepted into the Physicians Assistance Program.
When Mrs. Edmonds heard that, Patricia Edmonds Caples said her mother slumped to the floor with grief.
Miss Edmonds death was all the more tragic, her aunt Walene White said, because she was an exceptional young woman who went to school while holding a part-time job, and volunteered countless hours at the Oak Meadows Nursing Facility, where her Alzheimers disease-stricken grandmother lives.
She spent so many hours that the service director offered Miss Edmonds a job, her mother said. "But she refused because she felt that since she was going to be there with my mother anyway, that there was no need," Mrs. Edmonds said.
Miss Edmonds would massage the arthritic joints of the patients, would feed them, dress them if necessary, and bathe them, Mrs. Edmonds said.
"And Stacey would take care of at least five or six elderly clients a day for her job at Dewitt Hospital," said Mrs. Caples, Miss Edmonds older sister.
Mrs. Edmonds said her daughter was determined to make caring for others her profession.
"Her goal was to become a doctor. She would say, 'I wont stop until I get that white coat with Dr. Edmonds, M.D. stitched on it," said Mrs. Edmonds.
Family members said that in the wake of Miss Edmonds death, they were going to get involved with the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"Staceys death will serve a purpose. We will make sure that her story is told and perhaps it can save the lives of others," said Wesley Roberson, Miss Edmonds uncle.
A wake for Miss Edmonds will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Cedar Hill Funeral Home at 4111 Pennsylvania Ave. in Suitland. Funeral services will start at 11 a.m., followed by burial at Washington National Cemetery.
The family has not asked for donations, but memorial contributions may be directed to the funeral home.


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