Dance helps family give back, honor Uber rider killed by drunk driver

FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- The family of an Uber rider killed at the hands of a drunk driver is finding the light following her very painful and sudden death.

Julia Gardner died on July 7, but her family and friends are keeping her memory alive by giving back through dance, a scholarship, a support group - and tattoos.

The tattoo on Rob Stillwell's arm reads "I keep dancing." It's a permanent reminder of his friend and how she would've gone through life.

"She was always so brave and now she's not around to remind us in person 'Be brave, have fun, get in a group.' So it's just a little reminder that... Julia would want me to go say hi, Julia would want me to go dance," said Stillwell.

Gardner was taking Uber in Costa Mesa when the vehicle was hit by a drunk driver near the 700 block of Baker Street around 1:30 a.m. She died from her injuries.

A 19-year old suspect was arrested and booked for felony DUI.

To honor the 27-year-old, her loved ones decided to get the same "I keep dancing tattoo" either on their right foot, where Gardner had hers, or an arm.

"When we're together, I just look at that tattoo and she's still with us," said the victim's sister, Molly Paulick.

The family and friends said this was their first time getting tattoos. They all went to the same artist who said the family's gesture has made her feel close to the cause.

"They left such an impression that I honestly feel like I knew Julia... and the tattoo was very touching to me because love to dance," said tattoo artist Christina Harris.

In addition to the tattoo, Gardner's sisters decided to help others in her memory by creating a website called The mission is to help provide financial assistance for women and men over 25 seeking a higher education, and to build a community of support for those suffering grief.

The scholarship fund has raised about $10,000 so far, growing along with the number of memorial tattoos and the online community of support.

To donate to Julia Gardner's cause, visit
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