Local School Hosts Safe Driving Program

By Alyssa Donovan

January 18, 2013 Updated Jan 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM CDT

HENRY, Ill.-- A local group of high school students is using their homecoming week to highlight an important message.

Jamie McBribe of Marquette Heights said, "There's no such thing as a good drunk driver, that's just an oxymoron."

Jamie McBribe was one of the speakers at Henry-Senachwine High School on Friday morning. Sharing her own experience with drunk driving. Back in October of 2009, McBribe drove her car into a guard rail after being kicked out of a concert for being too intoxicated...causing the death of her best friend Ashlyn.

McBribe hopes that sharing her story will impact students to make safe decisions when it comes to driving.

McBribe said, "When you ask people to think about who is most likely next of them when they are drinking and driving then it really starts to put it into perspective of who they can be losing because of a choice they make."

McBribe, along with other speakers, is a part of the Operation Teen Safe Driving Program. The program is put together by student volunteers with a grant from IDOT.

And for one volunteer, it's all about making sure no one has to experience what she did. Back in 2008, Andrea Mattingly a junior at Henry-Senachwine High School, was in an accident that nearly claimed her life.

Mattingly said, "I was in a truck accident. A truck landed on me and I was life flighted. I was in the hospital for 12 days and in a wheelchair for 7 months. I had to relearn how to walk, relearn how to do a lot of things [like] using my whole left arm again."
Mattingly saw this program as an opportunity to teach her peers how to be safe behind the wheel. Choosing to have it the Friday of Homecoming week in the hopes that her classmates will make good decisions the weekend of the festivities.

And for McBribe, that's exactly the message she was hoping to get across. McBribe said, "It just really hits home when they see how one choice can really flip your world around."

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