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DeWitt: Driving exhibit stirs emotions

The committee identified three fatal crashes as being representative of the geographical area, as well as representative of gender and race. Both alcohol-related and reckless driving crashes were decidedly important components, too.

"As the exhibit shows, none of those victims were driving the vehicle and they weren't killed by drunk driving alone," Conway said. "One of the crashes is the result of reckless driving."

Within the three fatal crashes, a total of five teenagers were killed: Kaitlin Kozlowski, Matt Angelillo, Kimberly Dix, Brittany Bowers and Janay Davis.

Conway said the project could not have happened without the willingness of the victims families to share their personal effects and the story of the lives of their children.

Three main objectives

To start, the exhibit traveled to most high schools throughout Central New York for a full school year before heading to other venues such as Driver's Village in Cicero and Shoppingtown Mall in DeWitt.

No matter where the exhibit is seen, the committee's top objectives for the project remain the same. The first is to inspire teenagers to think beyond the moment of their decision when it comes to driving after drinking or getting into a vehicle with an intoxicated person. The second, to create an experience for teenagers that would change their thought process regarding the risks they take. Thirdly, to impact teenagers on a personal level, helping them to empathize with the victims and the victims families.

"Most students were in a solemn mood after seeing it," said Fayetteville-Manlius High School Principal James Chupaila about the exhibit, which made a stop at F-M in 2006. He said he's unable to determine if it made a long-term impact.

"We can only hope it goes beyond raising awareness," he said.

For more information on the exhibit and its whereabouts, visit gone4ever.org.

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