ALBANY. N.Y. (NEWS10) – As young people begin to celebrate their high school achievements with prom and graduation, there’s a big push to remind them of the dangers of drinking and driving.
The DMV says there are five things most parents don’t know about teen driving. They include:
- Car crashes are the number one killer of teens.
- Teens crash most often because of inexperience, not because they take more risks behind the wheel.
- Other teen passengers are the biggest distraction for teen drivers. Just one teen passenger raises the risk for a fatal crash by 44 percent.
- Most fatal nighttime crashes happen between 9 p.m. and midnight.
- More than half of the teens killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.
One local example of a local tragedy is the death of 48-year-old Amy Stock. Stock was a local college professor and environmentalist.
On Wednesday, her family was able to see the mangled car for the first time. They hope the car can be used as a teaching tool for DWI prevention in local schools.
“It just takes your breath away,” Stock’s sister Eileen Anania said. “I mean, I just couldn’t stop shaking. If I appear calm right now, I can assure you that inside I’m crying.”
Kadeem Fowler admitted to hitting and killing Stock while he was drunk. He was sentenced to 8 to 24 years behind bars in January.
But for Stock’s brother, Thomas stock, the loss will last a lifetime.
“I wish I could call Amy about this – oh, nope, I can’t,” he said. “Thanks to a drunk driver we all have a new perspective on life.”
Stock’s car is now comprised of mangled steel, a smashed windshield, and a piece of the drunk driver’s car. It’s a gut wrenching image, but one Stock’s family wants people to see.
“If we can just stop one person, one innocent victim, from being killed by a drunk driver, it’s a success,” Anania said.
With help from the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office, the car will be made into a mobile display to share Stock’s story and warn against drunk driving.
“We decided it was a very worthwhile project,” Sheriff Richard Devlin said. “We’re very excited about it, and we’re working with the family to make their vision come true.”
Students in the Otsego North Catskills B.O.C.E.S Automotive Tech class will help.
“We’re going to talk about what happened and how this tragedy is going to turn into an opportunity to educate students,” Director of Student Programs at O.N.C.B.O.C.E.S. Joseph Booan said.
And that, Anania said, would make her activist sister proud.
“My sister was killed; she’s not here now, but she would be so happy that we’re using this for drunk driving awareness and education,” she said.
Donations for the Stop DWI Amy Stock Memorial can be made to the Otsego Stop DWI program at 172 County Highway 33W, Cooperstown, N.Y. 13326 with Attention: Stop DWI Amy Stock Memorial.
All donations are tax deductible.
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