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'You don't expect to outlive your children': Mother of teen rollover victim hopes bill will save lives
She hopes to help keep other teens safe on the road, but the proposed state law she supports has encountered some opposition. Video by kgun9.com
Julia Good's car. Courtesy: Cathi Pike
State Senator Al Melvin (R, Tucson)
MARANA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Amid the pain of losing her daughter, a mother wants to help other teens stay safe -- and alive -- on the road. But the proposed state law she supports has encountered some opposition.
For the first time Friday, Good’s family saw the condition of the car the Marana High School student drove that night. The windshield was shattered, metal was mangled and the car was crushed.
Good’s mother, Cathi Pike, described the experience of seeing the vehicle and collecting her daughter's belongings: “Just one of many, many, many awful experiences that we've been through. It does help me a little bit with closure.”
A little closure, yet intense grief remains for the teen who loved cowboy boots and the color pink.
“She's in a better place now, and she's peaceful and happy,” Pike said, “The best thing that I can do is to carry her name and memory on and try to help other people.”
Pike believes she can do that by supporting a proposed state law that would prohibit certain teen drivers from using cell phones while on the road.
“There’s no reason kids can't wait till they get to their destination before they look at their phone,” Pike said.
“This bill is a life-saving bill,” said State Senator Al Melvin, who authored the proposal and represents the Tucson area.
The restriction would apply to teens with learner's permits and during the first six months of their regular license.
“By catching people early -- in their teenage years -- we're hoping it will not only save lives in that age bracket, but adults as well,” said Melvin, a Republican.
The bill faces opposition. State Senator Gail Griffin voted against it in a committee hearing this week.
“There's a lot of distractions (for) teenagers as well as adults,” the Sierra Vista area Republican told a senate committee. “Unless we address other things like music and food and makeup and other things, I cannot support this bill.”
KGUN9 News left messages with Griffin and her office Friday afternoon, but did not hear back.
Melvin introduced similar bills five time before. They failed to become law.
KGUN9 reporter Kevin Keen asked him, “What's different this time around?”
“We've tried to make it as narrow as possible,” he answered, explaining he’s addressed past objections.
Pike said this bill “is a start” and supports any measure that could save teens' lives. Her support of this bill shows it, Pike said, as Julia was neither on the phone nor texting before the crash.
Pike described what happened the night her daughter died as “joyriding.”
“I'd also like to help teenagers learn that ‘there's no joy in joyriding,’” she stressed repeatedly.
“Life is so fragile,” Pike said later. “One day she's here, the next day -- five minutes later -- one decision and your own life is changed. (It’s) like Don Henly's song 'In a New York Minute.' In a New York minute, my daughter is gone when a better decision or even a law behind it could make a difference.”
“I'm not saying Julia didn't have some responsibility,” Pike continued. “She was a smart girl, a strong-willed girl. She made her own mind up most of the time. She still is the one who drove that car and went too fast, but I'd like to believe that this didn't have to happen and maybe it could've been prevented.”