Jacy good speaks to students at Lake Placid High School.
High school students had a surprise visitor last Thursday morning, Oct. 4.
Jacy Good, the face of Distracted Driving came and spoke with students about her experiences. Her visit was sponsored by a grant received by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
Jacy always had an activist spirit. She was of the mindset that if she wasn’t part of the solution, she was part of the problem. Jacy took that attitude with her to College. She gained the reputation as someone who would save the world. Jacy graduated Magna Cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies in May of 2008. She planned to start with Habitat for Humanity through AmeriCorps. She was ready to take on the world.
Here her story changes. She left graduation with her parents, Jay and Jean. As they approached a green light on a relatively busy one-lane highway, an 18 year old man, talking on his cell phone approached the red light at the intersecting road. Unfortunately, he was paying more attention to his cell phone conversation than his driving and failed to notice the red light. As he entered the intersection, a tractor trailer swerved to miss him and hit the Good family’s car full-force. The impact killed Jay and Jean instantly.
When the paramedics arrived, Jacy wasn’t breathing. Luckily, they were able to resuscitate her. At the hospital, Jacy was given about a ten percent chance of surviving the night. She defied the odds and slowly recovered from her numerous injuries. She was released from the hospital four months after the crash. She was horrified to find out that the crash was caused because a driver was on his cell phone. Jacy became a board member of FocusDriven – Advocates for Cell Free Driving, a network of people whose lives have been permanently altered because of cell phone distracted drivers.
For the last two years, Jacy has been in therapy to regain some of her body’s normal function, and she spends copious amounts of time educating the public on the dangers of cell phone use while driving.
“The students were enthralled with her story and many said they would make personal changes,” student support counselor Tina Clark said. Clark has already changed her cell phone message to say she might be driving, even though her car features hands free calling.
“I didn’t know the science,” Clark said. “When I saw the MRI showing brain activity when you are having a conversation, I realized it is unsafe to talk and drive.”
“I thought she was a good model for teenagers who text and drive since she's had the worst of it,” student Shane McNeirny said. “Its different actual seeing someone it effected rather than an article.”
“Her story was really moving and I hope that teenagers will understand it enough to make the choice not to text and drive, “ student Carleigh Garrett said
“It only takes a second to end a lifetime,” student Elizabeth Leff added.