BEDFORD, Va. – A Central Virginia high school is preparing its students for the dangers of the road. They’re getting two important messages across in a unique way.
Students at Liberty High School in Bedford spent Thursday afternoon racing to buckle up. Many are looking forward to hitting the road.
“I was excited because it’s a lot of freedom,” sophomore Jadyn Clark says.
However, there is another lesson those like Clark are faced with when they turn into school each day. One that seems to set in a little more.
“My first time driving, I saw it there,” she says. “I was very scared that that could happen.”
Clark is talking about the familiar, red-totaled jeep that’s been parked at the school’s front entrance for about a week.
It’s the car a young Farmville couple and their three-week-old baby were riding in the night they were struck head-on by a drunk driver in the fall.
“I took one look at that car that night on the news. I thought, there’s just no way anyone survived that,” Liberty High Teacher Ben Thurman says. “122 is just a rough road.”
It wasn’t long before Thurman learned it was one of his former students involved in the accident–Nathan Everson.
Right away, he reached out to the family to see if they needed anything. He never imagined their ask would be to show students the ramifications of drinking and driving.
“Being a teenager, you know about stuff, but you think it’s not going to happen,” Thurman says. “With it being a former student here at Liberty High School, I think that really makes a difference. It’s not just a wrecked car in front of our school.”
Nathan and his wife, Megan, couldn’t be a part of this story today because finally, after all these months, they’re able to get back to work.
While they say they hope by sharing their story they influence at least one person, Liberty High students say it will be many more.