BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Deadly car crashes involving teenagers are expected to skyrocket over the next few months. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered the “100 Deadliest Days.” Nationwide, more than 7,000 people died in teen-related crashes from 2010 to 2019 during this summer period, according to the American Automobile Association.
Dwight Owens became paralyzed after being involved in a car crash caused by a drunk driver on August 5, 2005.
“I was railroaded by a drunk driver clocked at 120 miles an hour. They found my torso on the floor of the car. My legs wrapped around the steering wheel. The only thing holding me together was a seat belt,” said Owens.
Doctors told his family that he died but later called him a miracle after surviving.
“That crash gave me all the motivation I needed to be able turn my pain into purpose,” said Owens. “I want to do all that I can to help others. There are wounds everywhere. There’s no where I won’t go to change or save a life.”
Owens and his family created Still Standing Consulting to go around the country speaking with students from different school districts about the dangers of drinking and driving.
“I tell them there is power in choice because so many people don’t think about the other lives. They only think about themselves. I like to build students up. So now they can be the beast that they were created to be and look at their own lives so they don’t have to go out there and do something that somebody else does.”
Owens and law enforcement urge parents to make sure they are modeling safe driving behavior, when they are in the vehicle with their children. It’s also suggested for parents to set a time to drive with their children to see how they act behind the wheel.
According to AAA, crashes involving teens are because of speeding and distracted driving. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows alcohol is sometimes a factor in traffic crashes with teens.