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Father of teen killed in car accident speaks out about distracted driving

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KFVS) -

Caruthersville High School lost three students in the span of six months to car accidents. This week, for the first time, the father of one of those students is speaking out to help raise awareness about distracted driving.

“We did lose a life that day, and we lost a life because she was distracted,” Frankie Travis said.

Travis' daughter would have been a senior this year at Caruthersville High School.

“Now, what we have is nothing more than Brittany in a body bag,” Travis said.

It's been a little more than a year since it happened, but he's keeping her memory and a very important message alive.

“Our teenagers are dying of distracted driving. Let's stop it,” Travis said.

It's a tragic reminder for students.

“It's still not completely real to me,” DeeDee Williams said.

They are reminders from which they're now learning.

“It really sent a shock wave through the school. It changed a lot of people's minds about how they drive,” Billy Brooks said.

This school certainly isn't the only one dealing with teen deaths because of car accidents.

“Seventeen teenagers die every day in this country on traffic crashes,” Corporal Clark Parrott said.

That's why the school, along with Travis and the Missouri Highway Patrol is taking action.

“It's causing them to think about it, and I see kids buckling up as they're leaving the parking lot,” Principal Dr. Roger Alsup said.

Throughout National Teen Driving Safety Week, sophomores; juniors and seniors, all heard from Travis and Corporal Parrott about wearing your seatbelts and staying focused on the road.

“It is literally the line between life and death, one second could be the difference between us having this presentation and us not having to have it,” Brooks said.

It's a message that hits home.

“Sometimes that's the only way to get their attention, to hit them where they live, to let them know that it is happening to you in your school,” Corporal Parrott said.

It's all so students will understand that one young life taken to distracted driving should be the last.

“I want what happened to her to mean more than my little girl passed on, my little girl passed on and there is a message to be passed on because my baby is not with me anymore,” Travis said.

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