ANGOLA – The message “just hang up and drive” was delivered to nearly 1,000 students at Lake Shore High School on Thursday by Jacy Good, 27, who survived an accident that killed her parents.
The teen driver who hit their car was allegedly using a cellphone.
Good’s parents, Jay and Jean Good, were killed near Allentown, Pa., on their way home from her college graduation ceremony in 2008. She suffered a serious traumatic brain injury, along with multiple broken bones and internal injuries.
Good said she cannot recall the accident but has had it retold to her by her brother and husband.
Video clips of her husband, Steve Johnson, are included in the powerful message she carries to students and adults throughout the country.
Good has very limited use of her left side. She is able to walk but has no use of her left arm and hand.
“I even had to learn to put on a bra with one hand,” she said. The comment brought giggles from the audience.
Her talk was sponsored by the Seneca Nation of Indians. She was also scheduled to speak in Silver Creek, Gowanda and Salamanca during a two-day visit to the area.
Good lives in White Plains and travels the country talking about the dangers of distracted driving. She said that the 18-year-old high school student who ran a traffic light at the intersection where her parents’ car was hit was making a cellphone call and did not stop for a red light.
The accident was complicated by a tractor-trailer truck that also was avoiding hitting the teen driver, Good said.
Besides offering the story of her lengthy recovery and injuries, Good opened the discussion up to the students. She urged them to leave a message on their phone that states, “Hi, I am busy or driving and I will call you back when I am safe.”
“The real solution to this problem is about social change,” she said. “When you’re driving, you should be driving.
“What a crazy idea,” she added, getting laughter from the crowd.
Good told students that statistics back up the danger of texting or talking on the phone and claimed that 15 people are killed every day in the United States due to distracted driving.
She said the problem is worldwide and that she was even asked to speak at a session of the United Nations. “Please help me to end this global epidemic,” she added.
“No phone call or text message is worth someone’s life,” she said.
Students asked about her recent wedding. Good revealed she was on the television show “Say Yes to the Dress,” which she did in memory of her mother, who was not there to help her choose her gown.
She urged students to visit her website, hangupanddrive.com, and sign a pledge to their friends to not use cellphones while driving.
Good is a member of Focus Driven, an advocate group that promotes safe driving. She has spoken at 320 schools, professional and government meetings in 26 states.