TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Terre Haute South High School students invited a guest speaker to conduct a safe driving seminar Friday morning.
Speaker Cara Filler travels all over the nation, speaking to students and helping them make good decisions.
Filler lost her twin sister in a car crash that could have been prevented, had the driver not been driving three times the legal limit.
Students Reagan Foust and Maya Mercho invited Filler in response to a tragedy that struck the student body last February.
On Valentine’s Day, THS Junior Jenna Perrelle was killed in a car crash.
Over the summer Foust and Mercho, close friends of Perrelle’s, decided to use an upcoming DECA project to educate students on the dangers of distracted driving.
“Jenna was one of our really close friends,” said Foust. “That time was obviously really hard for us and once we kind of came out of that we just wanted to turn it into something positive that could eventually prevent this from happening more.”
According to the CDC, in 2017 2,364 teens in the US aged 16-19 were killed in car crashes.
“We’ve lost three people here at South so we kind of just wanted to take something horrible and make it into something positive,” explained Mercho.
Filler emphasized the need to focus on the road, drive the speed limit and speak up when you don’t feel safe in the car.
“A lot of people get behind the wheel and they don’t think about the dangers they’re actually putting themselves in when they’re making reckless choices,” said Foust.
Teenagers aren’t invincible, and Perrelle’s friends hope fellow students drive safely and avoid becoming a car crash statistic.
“It’s the number one killer of teens in America. But it’s so easily prevented,” explained Foust. “And I just think it’s really important for them to hear that message.”