Jacy Good has found her message and her audience.
“When you drive while on the phone, you are impaired,” she said. “I use that word purposely. When you drive drunk that is driving while impaired. When you drive while on the phone, you are also driving while impaired.”
The 26-year old Pennsylvania native spoke to CCS students on Tuesday about the dangers of distracted driving, part of a three-school swing set up by the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office.
“This is my third school of the day and my 23rd state this year,” Good said. “This is what I do. This is what I love to do. It is exhausting and it is emotional, but it is also empowering.”
On May 18, 2008, Good and her parents, Jay and Jean Good, were driving home from her graduation from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa. An 18-year-old driver who was talking on his cellphone ran a red light, causing a three-vehicle accident. A truck driver coming through the intersection tried to avoid the 18-year-old’s car, but ended up striking the Good’s car. The truck driver and the 18-year old suffered minor injuries.
Both of Good’s parents were killed and she suffered brain damage. She was in a coma for two weeks, and had a lengthy rehabilitation to learn how to walk and talk again. She has no use of her left arm and walks with the help of a brace on her left ankle.
She said she doesn’t remember the accident, but has been told that an EMT lived nearby — and was home on his day off — and his proximity to the accident site saved her life.
Good said she has never spoken to the 18-year-old, who she said he has not taken responsibility for the accident.