“It took just one person. One person who made a choice. One person who chose to drink. One person who chose to drink a lot. One person who then chose to get behind the wheel of his car. One person killed two precious young lives,” said Barby Jobe of Wichita. Jobe was telling about the night her daughter, Kylie, and her boyfriend, Kyle, were killed on I-70 five years ago.

Two years ago, Miss Kansas 2016 Kendall Schoenekase was a passenger in a crash caused by distracted driving.

“I relive those moments frequently as a registered nurse,” Schoenekase said. “I am reminded over and over again how, in the blink of an eye, my life was almost taken from me.”

Jobe and Schoenekase were joined by Interim Transportation Secretary Richard Carlson and Kansas Highway Patrol Col. Mark Bruce at the annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day news conference at the Capitol today. The campaign strives to decrease traffic fatalities.

Members of Students Against Destructive Decisions from high schools across Kansas as well as other transportation safety partners and law enforcement officials attended the event.

Secretary Carlson talked about his granddaughters who were in a vehicle crash a few years ago.

“My wife Cheryl rushed to the scene and saw the mangled remains of their vehicle,” he said. “We were all so very upset, and it took many weeks for them to recover. But I’m glad to report that both granddaughters are doing great now.”

Unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Last year, 358 people were killed in traffic crashes across Kansas.

“That is why we’re here – to help put the brakes on fatalities,” Carlson said.

Organizations that work together on the annual safety campaign with KDOT include the Kansas Turnpike Authority, Kansas Highway Patrol, AAA of Kansas, Kansas Contractors Association, Kansas Family Partnership, Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office, Federal Highway Administration and the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers.

For more information on Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day, visit KDOT website.