2016 Community Benefit Report CHAI_160088756_2016 Community Benefit Report_FIN - | Page 11
CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL COLORADO
Turning Tragedy into Legacy
Community Rallies Together to Educate Teens on Safe Driving
On October 22, 2014, Taylor Llewellyn, a student at Chaparral High School in Parker,
Colorado, tragically lost her life in a car crash when her vehicle drifted across three lanes of
traffic and collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle.
For Chaparral students Alex Lehman, 18, Jacqueline Closs, 18, and
Emily Baller, 17, this unexpected tragedy became an opportunity
to promote awareness of safe teen driving issues in their
community, and potentially save future lives through the creation
of an education program dedicated to Taylor’s memory.
With support from Children’s Hospital Colorado, the Colorado
Department of Transportation and Safe Kids Denver Metro, the
students’ Chaparral High School Drive Safe Project became reality.
In 2016, the three teens launched a series of safe driving efforts
as part of the campaign. Chaparral hosted its inaugural “Drive
Safe Week,” comprised of hands-on educational and awareness
activities for students to spread the word about safe driving.
Additionally, they convened workgroups and created committees,
dedicating long hours after school and on weekends to build
momentum and move the project forward. Experts in the
traffic safety field were consulted to guide the development of
promotional materials. With the support of Taylor’s family, a
documentary video, “Taylor’s Story,” was produced which has
subsequently been viewed by thousands of parents and teens.
All of these efforts collectively led to the creation of multiple “Teens
Take the Wheel” events, which powerfully illustrated the effects
of motor vehicle crashes resulting from distracted driving, and
the impact they can have on families, schools and communities.
“With the goal of impacting lives and with the support of our
many partners, we aimed to educate students in an engaging and
fun way,” says Alex. “We also shared Taylor’s video at a school
assembly, leaving no dry eyes in the room. It was encouraging to
see students as excited about Drive Safe as we are.”
Although Alex and Jacqueline have graduated, Emily plans to lead
the project this year and bring more students on board in an effort
to perpetuate the program. “By getting behind the wheel, you are
risking your life without even driving distracted,” says Alex. “You
are driving a 2,000-pound weapon and it’s just not something we
can take lightly.”
teens in the Denver metro-area (ages 15-19)
were injured in a motor vehicle crash
Children’s Colorado’s teen
driving program reached
Taylor’s video was viewed