First responders reach out to students at Whale Branch High School about safe driving

Whale Branch students reminded of safe driving

BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WTOC) - In the midst of spring break and prom season, one local high school is making sure students remember to be careful when driving or riding in a car.

First responders visited students at Whale Branch High School in Beaufort County on Monday. Their goal is to show students the importance of wearing a seat belt and following the rules of the road.

“After the death of a student here at Whale Branch High School, first responders felt the need to reach out and talk to students about vehicle safety and the importance of buckling up."

Burton Fire District, Beaufort County EMS, South Carolina Highway Patrol, and a 2011 graduate left paralyzed from an accident, led Monday’s discussion on why it’s important to wear a seat belt.

The effort was prompted by an accident that occurred in 2018 that left one student dead after being ejected from the car he was driving.

Student advocate and high school graduate Kelli Burke is now wheelchair-bound due to an accident after being ejected from a car.

“At that age point, you know you are so young, and it’s the start of your life and you need to realize that bad things do happen and they can happen to you, because I was right where they were," Burke said.

She says by going around to different high schools with first responders, she hopes to change students mindsets on driving one at a time.

"I was a varsity cheerleader, varsity softball player. I know where they’re at, and I know what mindset they have, and they need to realize that stuff can happen.”

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