Spartanburg father mourns son, asks teens to drive safely

As students return from spring break, many families and schools begin to plan celebrations like prom and graduations.

That also means statistically, the number of accidents on the road involving distracted teens can rise.

Troopers with the SC Highway Patrol work with groups like Alive at 25 to combat distracted driving, speeding and driving under the influence.

Many schools opt to have experts discuss safety with a backdrop of smashes cars that have been in an accident to encourage safe driving among teens.

7 News spoke with Dennis Brown, a Spartanburg District 1, Chapman High teacher who knows about this topic all too well.

Brown lost his 18 year old son on July 13, 2012.

Aaron Brown was leaving their home to go pick up a gift for his girlfriend who underwent surgery that Friday morning.

He left the home in his vehicle and was hit by a truck on Old Furnace Rd after overcorrecting.

Accident reports didn’t show that Brown was speeding or under the influence.

Brown said it still highlights how careful people must be behind the wheel.

Corporal Bill Rhyne with the Highway Patrol said he sees accidents involving teens all too often and encourages parents to talk to their kids about the importance of safe driving.

Rhine said Brown was his teacher and Aaron Brown was the first student that passed away after he began giving safe driving speeches at schools.

Rhyne said it should be noted that while Brown overcorrected, he wasn’t breaking any rules or driving in an unsafe way so imagine the danger someone can put themselves in if they are driving distracted or impaired.

Brown wrote a book about his son’s story and he hopes by continuing to speak to schools he can save young peoples lives.

He said saving only one child, would make his work worth the effort.

Brown’s child also was passionate about Habitat for Humanity and started an effort by Boiling Springs High School to sponsor a home build.

The home was later named after Aaron.

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