Talk geared to teen drivers

Published 9:32 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2011

One teenager killed in a vehicle accident is one too many.

Pike County has reeled from such a loss way too many times, said Jamie Scarbrough, circuit clerk.

Scarbrough is committed to doing all that she can to prevent car crashes among teens and that commitment begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday with the “It Won’t Happen To Me Teen Driving Event” at Cattleman Park.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Scarbrough is a volunteer with the event that has been spearheaded by Jennifer Carnley Garrett who lost her brother in a one-vehicle accident in 2001.

“I can think of nothing better that we can do than this,” Scarbrough said. “Having a teenager who knows what it is to lose a friend in a car accident and having lost friends when I was a teenager, I know how important an event like this can be. It can save lives.”

The program will feature Bill Richardson, co-founder of the “It Won’t Happen To Me” program. The program is dedicated to reducing the number one cause of teen deaths – car crashes.

The mission of ‘It Won’t Happen To Me” is to help teens become safer, more responsible drivers and to make parents aware of the importance of proper training and monitoring of their teens.

“Karen Outlaw, whose daughter, Lauren, was killed in a car accident, will also be a featured speaker,” Scarbrough said. “She will tell about the pain of losing a child. When a teenager is killed in a car accident, everyone is sad and concerned for about two weeks but this pain and emptiness goes on for the parents and family, not for two months or two years or for 20. It goes on forever. Karen’s story is one we all need to hear.”

William Taylor, a friend of Blake Carnley, will talk about dealing with the loss of friend to a vehicle accident.

Alabama Trooper Kevin Cook, who works traffic fatalities, and Johnny Gibson, who worked accidents with local volunteer fire and rescue unit, will also speak about their experiences.

Michael O’Hara, Troy Police Department, will provide information about an upcoming teen safe driving program and Scherryl Harrison, assistant district attorney, will talk about Alabama law for teenage drivers.

Representatives from MADD and SADD will also attend the teen driving event and have information available.

“This is a very important program for teenagers and parents,” Scarbrough said. “We don’t need to wait until we lose another teenager to a car crash. We need to get involved now and do what we can to reduced teenage deaths, so everyone is invited and we hope to have a large number of teens and parents.”

Admission is free to “It Won’t Happen To Me,” however; bringing the program to Pike County is costly.

“We have expenses including Bill Richardson’s fee, the rental of the facility, event insurance and other last minutes expenses,” Scarbrough said. “We have some wonderful sponsors and some parents are making donations. But any donations are very much appreciated as well as volunteers for the set up and take down.”

For more information call Jennifer Garrett at 268-6469.