WACO, Texas – Two Central Texas communities are mourning the loss of high school students in separate car crashes this week.
Penelope High School student Patrick Kucera and West High School student Kadyn Reynolds died in the crashes – and while neither one has any evidence of distracted or destructive driving, this time of year is a dangerous one on the roads.
“We always prepare the kids for this time of year, so it’s always front and foremost in our teaching,” Central Texas Driving School owner Tonya Dansby said. “We want to make sure they’re ready for prom, because they’ll be tired from prom. They might be exposed to some partying.”
The days and months surrounding high school graduations and graduation parties can lead to higher rates of drunk driving. May was the third-deadliest month of the year in Texas for drunk driving in 2019.
With this being said, teenagers and new drivers need to be on the lookout for other drivers, as well.
“We point out that most times, our kids know the rules of the road. But they need to look out for other drivers,” Dansby said. “We’re looking out for people that are distracted.”
The Central Texas Driving School even makes a point to simulate some of these real-world experiences so teens can quickly devise a plan for when they happen.
“We’re helping them to make good choices to prepare,” Dansby said. “If they make a bad choice, what can they do to still rescue themselves? Can they text mom a code word so that she can come and get them? Something like that.”
High school graduations in Central Texas begin this weekend.