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RAP event draws hundreds to SUNY Oswego campus

OSWEGO, NY – In an effort to prompt drivers to hang up their cellphones and focus on the road, nationally renowned speaker Jacy Good told her tragic story during the 10th annual Regional Awareness Program for young drivers on March 26.

During a presentation March 26 at SUNY Oswego, Jacy Good shows some photos of her long journey on the road to recovery after she nearly lost her life due to a distracted driver.
During a presentation March 26 at SUNY Oswego, Jacy Good shows some photos of her long journey on the road to recovery after she nearly lost her life due to a distracted driver.

The event, sponsored by Oswego County BOCES, the Oswego County Traffic Safety Board, New York State University Police at Oswego and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, brought hundreds of people to the SUNY Oswego campus for the keynote speaker.

Parents, students and community members packed the Hewitt Union ballroom to hear Good speak about the distracted driving accident that killed her parents and nearly left her dead.

“I had the next 10 years of my life planned,” Good said as she recalled her plans before the accident.

Those plans, however, dramatically changed on her college graduation day when the vehicle she was riding in was hit by a truck that had swerved to avoid a car that blew through a stop light.

The driver of the car was on his cellphone and was distracted for a split second – long enough to cause a crash that would alter Good’s life forever.

“My parents and I were the ones in the wrong place at the wrong time that afternoon,” Good said. “Those other drivers, they both went home and slept in their own beds.”
After suffering massive head trauma, countless broken bones and a brain injury, Good’s prognosis was poor and she was only given a 10 percent chance of survival.

Phoenix Central School District students Zoe Heckert, Richard Lange and Ella Heckert operate an information table during the 10th annual Regional Awareness Program for young drivers held March 26 at SUNY Oswego.
Phoenix Central School District students Zoe Heckert, Richard Lange and Ella Heckert operate an information table during the 10th annual Regional Awareness Program for young drivers held March 26 at SUNY Oswego.

However, she beat the odds and has made it her mission to tell her story and help spur legislation outlawing distracted driving.

“By telling my story, I’m hoping that maybe one other person won’t have to stand in my shoes. It’s real people, real lives that are impacted by the choices we make on the road,” Good said. “Find some kind of empathy. Imagine if this was you.”

As a way to spread her message, Good has served on committees, spoken to governors, assemblymen, senators and even the secretary general of the United Nations.

“I’ve called for an end to the global epidemic of distracted driving because it kills hundreds of thousands of people very year,” she said. “What on your phone is more important than life?”

After Good’s presentation, attendees had an opportunity to visit several informational tables operated by different organizations and agencies throughout Oswego County.

Representatives on hand included personnel from Oswego County BOCES, Phoenix Central School District, area police agencies, Oswego County Traffic Safety Board, STOP-DWI program, District Attorney’s Office and American Bikers Aimed Toward Education.