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Latest News From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Monica Zech

See the latest news from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

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Learn the Facts About Distracted Driving

Posted on 01 July 2019 by Monica Zech

Learn the Facts about Distracted Driving from


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April is “Distracted Driving Awareness Month”- But It’s a Year-Round Issue!

Posted on 13 April 2018 by Monica Zech

What Is Distracted Driving? Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

Consequences – Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,166 lives in 2017 alone.  391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015. During daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

Click on the link below to learn more.

*Note: “I’ve been impacted three times drivers on their cell phones – so I personally know the dangers!”

Monica Zech

Safe Driving Speaker


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Feeling Sad, Stressed, Depressed? Important Numbers & Links To Prevent Suicide

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Dear Friends,

Thank you for checking this posting.

Many of us have experienced the feeling of loss, sadness, depression, and stress…sometimes leading to thoughts of “suicide.”  The worst thing you can do is to drink alcoholic beverages – this will only make the problem seem bigger.  Alcohol is a drug – a depressant, thus making you depressed.

Please click on the following link for a story about “help” available in our County.  There is “hope” – and sometimes, by having a clear-rested mind, such as good nights sleep, the problem is not as bad as it first seemed.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255

If you’ve had thoughts that “no one cares” – “wrong” – I care about you, and that’s why I’m posting this very important link.  There is hope – here are additional resources.

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DUI Driver Sentenced to 17 Years for Crash that Killed 2, Seriously Injured 3 Others

Posted on 08 April 2018 by Monica Zech

Man gets 17 years in prison for the 2015 wrong way crash that killed two medical school students, and badly injured three others…

Jason Riley King 

Greg Moran – Reporter

A San Diego judge sentenced a former Miramar Marine who drove the wrong way down a freeway while drunk, crashing into a car full of medical students and killing two, to 17 years in prison Friday.

The sentence Judge Joan Weber handed down to Jason Riley King brought to a close a gut-wrenching case, one that the veteran jurist who has been on the bench for 28 years said was the worst case of its kind she has handled.

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“This is, without question, the most tragic one I’ve ever had,” said Weber, one of the San Diego Superior Court’s most experienced judges who has presided over numerous homicide and violent crime cases.

King, 24, was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and drunken driving in January. The same jury that found King guilty of those crimes, acquitted him of the far more serious charge of murder in connection with the May 16, 2015 collision that killed two medical school students, 23-year-old Madison Cornwell and 24-year-old Anne Li Baldock.

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Three others who were passengers in Cornwell’s car were seriously injured.

King was found to have a blood alcohol content of between 0.15 percent and 0.20 percent, well above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The crash occurred on state Route 163 near Interstate 8. King, then a Miramar-based Marine, was driving south in the northbound lane following a night of heavy drinking at a Mission Valley bar.

The raised F-350 truck he was driving smashed head-on into the Prius Cornwell was piloting, shearing off the left side of the smaller car.

At the trial, Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright told the jury that both a bartender and a friend King was with tried to stop him from driving but King insisted, remarking “I got myself here, I’ll get myself home.”

King’s attorney Richard Hutton admitted in trial that his client was intoxicated and driving but said he was not guilty of murder. That would require prosecutors proving King acted deliberately, which he contended he did not.

On Friday, Hutton said Riley would have pleaded guilty much earlier, and avoided the trial, if prosecutors had not insisted on pursuing a murder charge.

Weber noted that Cornwell and Baldock were young women of great promise, one aiming to be a pediatrician and the other a neurosurgeon.

Laura Cornwell read a powerful statement in court, recalling that her daughter’s “gentle ways, smile and warmth drew people to her.”

Cornwell, Baldock and their friends were were celebrating the end of their second year of classes. The group gathered for a house party in Hillcrest, with Cornwell as the designated driver.

She dropped off one student in North Park, then headed north to the UC San Diego graduate student housing where the rest of the students lived.

One of the injured, Stosh Ozog, testified the collision left him with his spine fractured in three places, two broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a concussion and other injuries. He wore a back brace for four months and still endures pain as he continues his medical school program, he said.

Jared Molitoris said he suffered a fractured sternum and learning disabilities including memory loss, which delayed his return to medical school until last May.

A third passenger, Yuki Iizuka, has suffered severe memory loss from brain trauma, along with a fractured femur and eye and hand injuries that all required several surgeries. He resumed medical school last May.

His mother, Maki, told the judge that her son has worked incredibly hard to get back to school, but will always have to deal with the damage from the crash. She urged King, who spent most of the hearing weeping and apologized to the families in a brief statement, to do the same while in prison.

“I want you to study, learn,” she said forcefully. “I want you to learn what parents who lose children go through.”

Before pronouncing the sentence, Weber said the case had impacted six families — those of the victims and King’s, who were also in attendance. “You could not have a more tragic case than what we went through,” she said of the trial.

And she added a sad and true coda about this case, and similar fatal drunken driving cases. “In 2018, as it was in 2015,” the judge said, “this crime is preventable.” With ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft, taxis, and other options, drunken driving deaths can be avoided, she said.

The case prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to sign a state law last year requiring bartenders to take training in recognizing when customers are too drunk to be served more alcohol.



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High Speed – A Major Factor In Crashes Involving Serious Injury & Death

Posted on 23 December 2014 by Monica Zech

I’ve started this page to add articles in which the danger of “speed” plays a major role in a collision involving death and injury on our roadways.

I start with a collision just a couple of days before Christmas that will impact a large number of families:

Four Teens Die in Fiery Head-on Pa. Crash

State troopers in Carbon County said Saturday afternoon that the four were in a sedan heading west on Dairy Road in Lower Towamensing Township that collided with an eastbound car shortly before 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Police said both vehicles overturned and caught fire, while the car carrying the teens smashed into a tree and was ripped in half.

Police said the driver — listed by police as 17 but said by the coroner’s office to be 19 — was killed along with two 16-year-old boys and a 13-year-old girl. An 18-year-old female and a 22-year-old man were hospitalized.




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Teen Driver Crashes While Reading A Text Message

Posted on 02 November 2014 by Monica Zech

This true story involves a teen driver that crashes while reading a text message.  As a result she is disfigured and feels abandoned by friends.  This really applies to all motorists that drive distracted for any reason.  A must read….

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Teen Now Brain Damaged Due To Synthetic Marijuana

Posted on 24 February 2014 by Monica Zech

A must read to learn more on the dangers of synthetic drugs…


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The Real-Life Dangers of Texting and Driving!

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