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Twenty years since deadly teen crash

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Posted at 4:54 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 20:11:09-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. – A tragic car crash shook Boca Raton to its core twenty years ago when five local teens were killed.

In an interview following the crash in February 1996 a young woman said, "They were sweet girls, they were young. They didn't get to go to homecoming, prom. They're young. It should never have happened to them."

She's referring to a Friday night crash twenty years ago today. Emily Slosberg, her twin sister Dori and five of their friends were at a bowling alley and decided to get in the car with a 19-year-old driver.

"He put seven of us the backseat, five down," crash survivor Emily Slosberg recalled. "I was on a lap and my other friend was on a lap. The driver and his friend put their seatbelts on and started driving down Palmetto Park Road at speeds topping 90 mph. I'll never forget. At that point I looked, everyone looks scared, but nobody says anything."

The driver, Nicholas Copertino, lost control of his Honda Civic, slamming into a car coming from the opposite direction.

"Seven of us. Five dead, including my twin sister," Slosberg said. "I wake up on respirator in a hospital. trees growing out of my hair. Broken leg, broken pelvis. I can't speak. I see all my family visiting me, but I don't see my twin. So I write on my father's hand, where's Dori? He hands me a newspaper and I read Dori's dead."

"It sparked a will in me," Slosberg said. "A fight, you know, to do something and I promised her I would."

Her promises took hold as she and her father started the Dori Slosberg Foundation to teach teens the dangers of reckless driving. Slosberg became an attorney, which is something her sister wanted to do. She's now looking to run for the state senate, stressing transportation issues. She wants to join her dad, Irv, who is a state representative, and got the Dori Slosberg Seatbelt Safety Act passed.

"We don't want people to go through what we went through, Slosberg explained. "She's not a statistic. We're doing something, you know, taking a tragedy and turning it into something else."