Student uses mom's involvement in bus crash to teach classmates DUI dangers

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - An Elizabethtown elementary school student taught his classmates an incredible lesson about drunk driving because his life was changed by the Carrollton bus crash. It's a chilling tale that most Kentuckians remember 20 years later.

Standing in front of the student body at GC Burkhead Elementary School, fifth grader Trevin Cox read an essay based on personal experience - his grandfather was killed and his mother was injured in what has become known as the worst bus crash in U.S. history.

"Alcohol can be very dangerous to the person drinking it and others," Trevin said. "A great example of this is the 1988 bus crash in Carrollton, KY."

It's a horrible tragedy that still haunts the survivors and families of the victims.

Trevin continued.

"A couple miles into the trip home, a pick-up truck was driving in the wrong lane. The driver was drinking and accidentally crashed into the bus's gas tank. Immediately the bus exploded, killing 24 children and 3 adults. Many other children and some adults were severely injured - my mom was one of them. I'm also never going to see my mom's dad because he died in the crash."

Trevin's mother, Christy Cox, heard his essay for the first time at the school assembly.

"For him to recall a story, take it to heart, and to write something like that, it does affect you," Christy said. "Just think. Realize the choices you make do have consequences and just to be responsible."

Trevin spoke to his fellow classmates on graduation day from DARE University, a program designed to teach kids to make smart choices with drugs and alcohol.

"If you drink over the limit, which a lot of people are doing over the holidays, it can kill people," Trevin said.

The entire fifth grade at Burkhead elementary pledged together that they would never do that.

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