Mother's mission to keep teen drivers alive after devastating loss

Mother's mission to keep teen drivers alive after devastating loss

PIKE CO., AL (WSFA) - A mom's mission to keep teens safe behind the wheel and most importantly, alive.

Prom season is just around the corner and soon teens all across the state will hit the road to celebrate.

A Troy mom knows all too well how a simple distraction on the road can easily turn into a tragedy and she shared her personal story with students at Pike County High School Thursday.

"I would pray that no other parent will have to go through what I've been through," said Irene Tellis Mahone.

Mahone wouldn't wish what she's been through on her worst enemy.

"I still can see the scene it's still just like yesterday to me," said the grieving mother.

On November 5th, 2005, her son Kelly McCorvey Tellis was a passenger in a vehicle with five other Charles Henderson High School students.

"The young man that was driving, were racing with another driver and lost control of the car, and Kelly and another female was impacted out and killed, both of them instantly," said Mahone.

Mahone wants teens to know that what happened to her son, can happen to anyone which is why she's a sponsor of the Teen Victim Impact Program, It Won't Happen To Me.

"If we can educate them on some of the choices these kids made that ultimately led to their death hopefully they will reevaluate the things they do when they're in a motor vehicle," says Bill Richardson, President and Founder of It Won't Happen To Me.

Over 120 families like the Mahone's have shared their stories with teens across the country, covering everything that could be the difference between life and death...

Texting, cell phone use, seatbelts, speed, drinking, drugs, the whole nine yards," said Richardson.

Richardson hopes to reach 12,000-15,000 young drivers by the end of the year, so what happened to Kelly won't happen to them.

"He was just an innocent passenger in the car but he didn't have his seatbelt on, neither did his girlfriend and they both ended up dying," said Richardson.

The non-profit has a dozen Diversion Programs set up in Georgia and they hope to open one up in Pike County very soon.

Mahone says working with It Won't Happen To Me has been therapeutic and has helped with her healing process.

It Won't Happen To Me has been helping prevent teen driving related deaths for over ten years.

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