7 years since Owen Brezitski's death serves as a reminder to drive safe this holiday
"I've seen that a lot with a lot of my friends getting in the car that they put their phone down and the other person then takes care of navigating to where we need to go. I don't know if that's just because they're with me and they know my story?” says Makenna Brezitski.
21-year old Makenna Brezitski's story is one no sister should ever have to tell.
"I think it hit close to home, people still remember the story.”
"It was a monumental task just to get out of bed to go on with our daily lives," says Owen’s parents.
Nor is it a story a mother or father should ever have to share.
But Mark, Karen, Makenna and Kyla Brezitski do tell the story often, in hopes of preventing this devastating loss from happening to any other family.
Come this Saint Patrick's day, it will be seven years that Owen Brezitski was hit and killed by a young, distracted driver. He was just eight years old.
Through Owen’s foundation that the family established after his death, and all things orange, Owen’s favorite color, his parents and sisters are raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
Mark says, "Kids growing up and everything is instantaneous. I gotta be on my cell phone, I have to do this, if I don't answer a call within five seconds there's something wrong, or I have a text I have that bing, it's , it's , it's instantaneous, just trying to tell anybody. It's adults now days too, you're on work and you have to travel and take a business call or something you have to see -- it can wait."
Karen says, "With all the GPS, WIFI, all of that inside the car now, you know, again time and a place, just takes one second for a tragedy to occur. I know not everybody thinks about that, but that's what we think about now and so really our message is to get out there, slow down, be alert and save a life."
Mark says, "Spread the word, slow down, be alert, save a life."
But is their message working?
Makenna said earlier that her friends are getting it, but for 18 year old Kyla's peer group - it's still a challenge.
"I see stories on my timeline every couple of times a month of people taking Snapchat of their music or what they're listening to behind the wheel, so I think it's a different set of problems with my age group and I think we really need to address it," Kyla said.