Kailee Mills, 16, had just left home with her friends to go to a Halloween party. She was riding in the backseat, and only traveling a mile away to a friend’s house. They were only a few blocks away from home when the car she was riding in veered off the road. The car rolled over, Kailee was ejected from the backseat of the car, and died instantly. Her three friends walked away with only minor cuts and bruises. Kailee was the only one in the car not wearing a seat belt. Just seconds before the crash, Kailee removed her seat belt to slide over in the backseat and take a selfie with her friend. It was that split second that shattered the hearts of so many. We never thought it would happen to us—to our daughter. We know that if she was wearing her seat belt, she’d still be here. Instead, the girl we called our “ray of sunshine”, is gone.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Makayla Bonura, 16, gained her wings on August 3rd, 2021. Makayla and her three friends were involved in a…
Garrett, 16 gained his wings on March 26, 2022. Garrett, his sister, and her friend were on their way…
David Palestrant,17, gained his wings on November 04, 2021. David was a football player. A baseball player. A mama’s…
Ariana Fuller, 20, gained her wings on March 13, 2022. She, her fiancé and three year old son were…
Michael Reed, 24, gained his wings on February 14, 2022 in a motor vehicle crash where he was ejected…
Michelle Macias Martinez, 20, sadly lost her life on June 12, 2021. She was not wearing her seat belt…
Mason Budro, 23, passed away June 22, 2020 in a vehicle crash. Mason was not wearing his seat belt…
Hayden Martinez, 24, tragically lost his life on December 6, 2020. He and three friends were involved in a…
Makayla Bonura, 16, gained her wings on August 3rd, 2021. Makayla and her three friends were involved in a car crash while driving over the speed limit. Makayla and another passenger lost their lives after being ejected from the vehicle that their friend was driving. The accident happened three days before her junior year of high school was supposed to start.
Makayla was a very strong willed, beautiful girl who had many people that loved her. She had the most distinct laugh that could be heard from a distance. She was a wonderful sister to her 4 siblings who she loved more than anything. She loved hanging out with her friends, sleeping late on the weekends, and traveling with her grandparents. Her friends and family meant so much to her. After the accident so many people shared stories with us about how respectful and kind she was. She had plans to go to college and wanted to work with children with special needs. She often spoke about having children of her own one day. She never gave up when it came to something she wanted. Her determination would have led her to do great things in life.
Makayla will live on forever in the hearts of her family and friends. We carry her with us every where we go and try to find ways to honor her daily. We hope that by sharing her story others will think twice about how they can stay safe when getting into a vehicle.
Garrett, 16 gained his wings on March 26, 2022. Garrett, his sister, and her friend were on their way home from hanging out and they stopped in a gravel parking lot to do donuts. The friend driving the car, struck a guy wire supporting a utility pole. By hitting the cable, the vehicle flipped on its side, partially ejecting Garrett, who was unrestrained. He was pronounced deceased on impact at the scene. The driver and Garrett’s sister walked away with no injuries. Garrett was full of life. He was always trying to live life to the fullest. He was a very talented and avid baseball player and an honor roll student on track to graduate a year early. He was very eager to please others and had a servant’s heart. One classmate said, “his heart was kind, and his smile always uplifted the mood in the classroom, even on Mondays.” Another classmate said Garrett took his shoes off his feet and shared them with him because the classmate needed tennis shoes that day. These were Nike tennis shoes, and Garrett didn’t know this, but the classmate had never owned a pair of Nike tennis shoes before. Garrett was loved by so many at Willis High School and will be greatly missed by his classmates and the staff. Garrett was also an amazing brother to all 7 of his sisters. He was their best friend, especially the two that were closest in age to him. He is missed dearly, and it’s just not the same around the Walker household without his silliness and his contagious laugh. It is only God that has carried the family through this very difficult time, and no one should have to go through what they are going through. Garrett’s family ask you all to PLEASE #buckleup4Garrett
David Palestrant,17, gained his wings on November 04, 2021. David was a football player. A baseball player. A mama’s boy. David was bigger than life. He loved everyone and no one he encountered was a stranger. He was a giver. David was the “go to” person when friends were hurting. On November 04, 2021 the unimaginable happened.. David was in a car crash and lost his life due to being unrestrained in the back seat. The driver of the vehicle was intoxicated which ultimately led to the crash and David’s family want to remind each and everyone of you that life is fragile and to live life to the fullest. As David would say “No sad moments, you gotta be big”. Buckle up, every rider, every ride…and do not drink and drive.
Ariana Fuller, 20, gained her wings on March 13, 2022. She, her fiancé and three year old son were involved in a horrific car crash on the way to Galveston. By the grace of God her son and fiancé survived, but unfortunately she lost her life after being ejected from the vehicle as it began to spin and flip. Ariana was a bright and bubbly person who left a deep impression on anyone she met. She was the type of person you couldn’t help but to smile around, she was always ready to lend a helping hand, saw the best in everyone and always made sure that those around her felt special and loved. She loved music and had a passion for dancing, but most of all she loved being an incredible mother. Her son was her entire world and everything she did, she did for him and with him in mind. There are some who bring a light so bright to this world that even after they are gone the light remains, that was Ariana. She will be forever loved and forever missed. #BuckleUp4Ariana
Michael Reed, 24, gained his wings on February 14, 2022 in a motor vehicle crash where he was ejected from the vehicle due to not wearing his seat belt. His family said “We hope to save as many lives as possible through our own devasting testimonial. Michael was a strong protector of his family and friends who he loved and cared about so much. He also cherished his Nassau blue C5 corvette and his precious cat Rocky, who he had saved as a stray. He had a passion for wanting to save as many stray animals as he could and is probably playing with all the ones in heaven right now. He was taken way too soon and will forever live in our hearts. We will always love and miss you, Michael.”
Michelle Macias Martinez
Michelle Macias Martinez, 20, sadly lost her life on June 12, 2021. She was not wearing her seat belt when her car went into a spin and as a result was a ejected. One moment, one mistake changed it all. Michelle’s family would say that she has a beautiful smile and an infectious laugh that is terribly missed by so many family and friends. The pain of losing a child cannot be measured. Michelle’s family wants to remind everyone to please always buckle up. Your family and friends love you and would be devastated if you weren’t here. #BuckleUp4Michelle
Mason Budro, 23, passed away June 22, 2020 in a vehicle crash. Mason was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash, and his family wants Mason’s story to serve as a reminder to others what’s at stake. His mother said “Mason loved The Lord, his family, cars, animals, and his church. He was a big part of the youth leadership group and had his own small group of young boys to mentor. He was all heart, feet (size 16 shoe), and stomach… The boy could eat!” He is missed by so many.
Hayden Martinez, 24, tragically lost his life on December 6, 2020. He and three friends were involved in a vehicle crash, and unfortunately Hayden lost his life after being ejected from the vehicle.
Hayden was a Christmas baby, born on December 25, 1995. He graduated high school in Iola, TX where he followed his passion of sports. His dedication and hard work earned him Texas high school football records, including 3-Time All State and the #2 spot for all-time career touchdowns and career scoring in Texas high school football. Hayden’s fun-loving spirit and loyal friendship is missed by so many family and friends.
Jenna Rose, 18, gained her wings on August 15, 2019. She was a front seat passenger in a single-vehicle rollover accident. She was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle.
Just two days prior to her death she told her dad “I’m going to make you proud of me”. Jenna was a remarkably funny girl. She had a talent for speaking in all different accents and was quite the entertainer. She had a huge heart, and lonely, lost people were always drawn to her kindness and openness. She never met a stranger. She left behind 3 sisters who miss her every single day.
Teens are 3X more likely to die in a vehicle crash than any other age group. Please share these stories with your children and remind them to always buckle up!
Andrew Guerrero, 24, and his best friend Michael, 22, lost their lives on August 11, 2019. They were in a one-car rollover crash. Sadly, neither were wearing their seat belts and both were ejected and died instantly.
Some words from Andrew’s mom, “My son Andrew was so full of life. Full of laughter. His sense of humor was so contagious. In many ways he wanted to make this world a better place. He loved his mom, dad and brothers. His family was very important to him. He helped whoever he could. He was a very free spirited young man but was also a very giving person in many ways. The hardest part in losing him is living without him everyday.”
Remember, your life matters to someone. So when you buckle up, don’t just do it for yourself…do it for them too.
Sammie gained her wings July 27, 2020 just one day after turning 15 years old. She was involved in a car crash on July 21 in Parker, CO where she and a friend were not wearing seat belts in the backseat. After being t-boned by another vehicle, both Sammie and her friend were ejected from the vehicle. Although she fought for days in the hospital, the Lord called her home.
Sammie loved Jesus, sports, her family and friends, and her ultimate passion, cheer. She was a ray of sunshine who had a big heart and a big reach. She loved wholeheartedly and touched so many lives in her short 15 years. We know her legacy will stretch even further. Sammie’s family is asking everyone to please Buckle Up!
On April 18, 2020 Camron Murrell and his friend were traveling unrestrained when the unforeseen happened. The passenger was ejected and neither survived the crash. Camron’s family wanted us to share his story in hopes that it could save someone’s life. Both of these teenagers were taken way too soon, and we pray that Camron’s legacy will go on to impact and save lives.
Camron’s family is raising money for Kailee Mills Foundation’s family assistance program. All funds raised in his memory will help future families suffering from the loss of a loved one in an unrestrained crash.
Ryan Knotts, 18, from Leland, North Carolina died on February 2, 2020. He passed away from injuries sustained in a single vehicle crash that happened January 30th. He was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected.
Ryan was a fun-loving, big hearted young man. He would always try to put a smile on everyone’s face. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Some of his favorite things were fishing, duck hunting, dirt bikes, playing in the mud, taking things apart and trying to figure out how to put them back together, as well as visiting the beach and the lake. He was a very hard worker. Ryan’s mom remembers, “He started helping with yard work at a young age and would push a lawn mower before he was really tall enough to see while doing it”.
Ryan was an organ donor. He was proud of that little red heart on his driver’s license. He gave the gift of life to many families who will forever be grateful.
David A. Hasse
David A. Hasse, 19, of Minden, Nebraska died Sunday, January 12, 2020, near Kenesaw, NE, as the result of a motor vehicle crash. He was driving in less than ideal road conditions, when his truck slipped on the ice causing his vehicle to roll; ejecting him in the process. David was not wearing his seat belt.
All the tributes to his life poured in with memories of what a kind hearted young man he was and how he would go above and beyond to help people within his community. He left an imprint on many hearts in his small town and will forever be missed. The legacy he leaves behind is one that echos a strong will to better oneself through hard work and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Kailee Mayher of Strongsville, Ohio went to be with The Lord on June 7, 2017 at only 16 years old. She was riding with her friends, not far from home, when the driver lost control and hit a tree. Sadly, she was not wearing a seat belt in the back seat and was ejected from the car. Kailee Mayher shared so many similarities with Kailee Mills: Class of 2019 Had plans to become a doctor Had a bright and bubbly personality Unforgettable Her family says, “She was generous, thoughtful and kind. Her beautiful smile and her sparkling eyes will always be remembered. She touched the lives of everyone she came in contact with. Kailee was the light of our lives. She was beautiful in every way and will be greatly missed by many.”
Ruby Chavez, 17, passed away on February 17, 2018 after being involved in a tragic single vehicle accident. Sadly, she was not wearing her seat belt and was ejected from the car. Ruby was always full of joy and life, had a bubbly personality, and loved her family! She had a passion for art, music, and pets! She was a volunteer at the BARC Animal Shelter and a member of an organization called Texas Association of Future Educators. She loved The Lord and was an assistant teacher at her Sunday school for two years.
Ruby was such an INCREDIBLE artist, and her artwork won many competitions! She was actually on her way to an art competition the morning of her accident where she had two drawings entered. That day, she won with BOTH drawings. After learning about the accident, the competition delivered the artwork to her parents showing that she had received perfect scores by the judges! Ruby aspired to be an Art Teacher, and the day she passed away, her parents received her college acceptance letter from Texas Southern University.
Donald “Clint” Ivy
Donald “Clint” Ivy, 21, went home to his Heavenly Father January 31, 2016. Sadly, Clint was not wearing his seat belt when he was involved in what became a fatal car wreck. Among the family he left behind are his twin brother, Kyle, and an older brother Billy.
Clint loved music, the outdoors, and sports. He never met a stranger and shared his zest for life with everyone he crossed paths with. Clint’s father says this about his son, “Clint was full of life; he put a big smile on all the people he met and brightened up any place he went. We know that we will see him again and this time it will be for all eternity. Beloved Son, Brother & Friend: we miss you.” Clint grew up playing football in SCFL all the way through high school. Football Field 5 at SCFL Gullo Fields is dedicated to Clint.
Melony Carlie Mendoza
Melony Carlie Mendoza, 10, lost her life in a single vehicle crash June 1, 2018. She was unrestrained and ejected. Melony suffered traumatic brain injury and lost her fight on the seventh day. She gave the gift of life to 5 children in South Texas through her passing.
Melony was the oldest of three girls and her family’s first granddaughter. She was a strong believer of angels and heaven. She was known for praising God any time, any place and believed prayer fixed anything and everything. Melony wanted to be a doctor, loved to play soccer, swim and mermaids. Her mom, Marlene, said, “Melony made friends easily and treated everyone like she knew them. During the hurricane, she saw an older man walking alone down our street and she said, ‘Mom, can we get my wagon and follow him so we can take him food; we have a lot’. So, we did. She stole everyone’s heart and took a piece of everyone with her when she went to heaven”.
Melony’s mom hopes by sharing her family’s story of loss, that parents will never pass up the opportunity to buckle up their children. “I relive that moment every day and hope parents will never suffer this pain.” Please make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up before the car is set in motion, and they stay buckled up the whole ride.
David Waag, 17, along with his friend Connor Williams, 15, were both welcomed home by The Lord in August of 2017. They were both Clark County high school athletes in Springfield, Ohio and full of life and happiness! Both were riding in the backseat, when the car drifted off the road, over corrected and hit two trees. Like so many of us, they were not wearing their seat belts in the backseat. The two in the front seat were wearing their seat belts and survived.
David was a friend to everyone. He was elected the “Everybody’s Buddy” award just two weeks before the crash. He was the self-described “life of the party” and had a smile that would light up a room. Beginning at 5 years old, he was an avid soccer player earning his varsity letter when he was just a freshman in high school. “He lived every day to the fullest and would accomplish anything he set his mind to.” – Aryn, David’s mom
Tyler Wayne Babbitt
Tyler Wayne Babbitt, 18, walked into the arms of The Lord on November 5, 2018. Tyler leaves behind his twin brother, his sister, parents, and so many more loving family and friends. While on his way to work he fell asleep, went off the highway, and he was ejected and died instantly. Tyler had his entire life in front of him, potential to do great things and a lifetime to impact the lives of others. We truly believe he can still do that. With his story, his life will carry on forever. It will impact the lives of others. It will save the lives of many!
Breonna “Annie” Groce
Breonna “Annie” Groce, 16, from Albany, Kentucky had plans of joining the Army to serve her country. On April 25, 2018, she was on her way to school that morning when she went off the side of the road and then over corrected her vehicle. It rolled multiple times. Annie was not wearing her seat belt and was ejected. The vehicle then landed on top of her. She was only 2 miles from home. Her mother, Sarah Brummett says this of her daughter: “Annie was so very smart. She worked as a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) while also attending high school. She had her life planned out, but God had other plans. Annie loved God, life and her family. She was in JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps) and planning on going into the Army. God gave her to us for 16 years to love and we are grateful for that, but I miss her dearly.” Annie’s mother started the Doing It For Annie Foundation (DIFA Foundation) to honor her daughter and to spread seat belt awareness in her community.
Sheryce Baggett, 16, was a fun loving, free spirited little girl. Everywhere she went she made others smile. She was active in church, she was in choir, volleyball, and loved to volunteer at Toys for Tots. On August 13, 2015 Sheryce was driving with a friend in the front seat and her cousin and little brother in the back seat. The two in the back were buckled, while Sheryce and her friend in the front were not. She was driving down a country road that has the thrill factor of when you go fast and top the hill, it makes your stomach drop. When she topped that hill, her car went into a skid and she lost control, struck a telephone pole and flipped the car. Her head hit and was killed instantly. The passengers were lucky enough to end up with bumps and bruises. Words from her mother: “I want her spirit to live on. I am truly blessed with the time God allowed her to be with me, but I wasn’t ready to let go.” Sheryce Baggett 11-22-98 ? 8-13-15
Tavin Scott Parker
Tavin Scott Parker, 17, went to be with The Lord on July 5, 2015. Tavin was driving home one Sunday morning from a friend’s house with two of his friends. No one was wearing their seat belts, and he was unfamiliar with the road, while also going over the speed limit. The road appeared to go straight but there is a curve, and he over-corrected and lost control. The vehicle flipped and he and the friend in the front seat were ejected. The other person rolled around in the vehicle. The two young ladies miraculously survived but sadly, Tavin did not. His death was immediate. ”Tavin was a great son. Very respectful and always helping us with anything. He loved to play pranks on us and joke around. I miss our talks and him asking for advice about anything and everything. He was a true and loyal friend and a friend to EVERYONE. Always willing to help a friend out, and a hard worker! He was #54 on the Magnolia West Mustang Football Team and loved being a part of the Mustang family.” – Felicia Parker
Kika Nichole Ward
Kika Nichole Ward, 40, of Comanche, Oklahoma was involved in a single-vehicle accident on Saturday, April 14, 2018. The SUV she was driving went out of control and rolled. She was not wearing her seat belt. Kika left behind a loving husband and three children. She was known for her passion of helping others (including the four-legged variety), being a wife, a mother, and friend to so many. She was a just a few weeks away from completing her LPN program so she could continue to help others in need. Her big heart will never be forgotten by her family and everyone whose life she touched.
Megan Mischelle Miller
Megan Mischelle Miller, 17, lost her life on March 19, 2006 after being ejected from the vehicle that she was driving with her younger sister. Her family put any strength they had left into spreading awareness about seat belt safety in Kentucky. Follow Megan’s story HERE.
Jennifer Johnson was mother to 3 little children. Their lives were completely changed when their momma was taken on November 8, 2016. Just like no parent should have to live without their children, no children should have to live without their momma. Jennifer was involved in a rollover crash on I-45 where she was partially ejected from the vehicle due to not wearing her seat belt. Words from her mother: “Her dad was her hero – no matter what, her son’s were her life and she always said “This Too Shall Pass” when times got hard. She was beautiful inside and out. We miss her so much. We talk with the boys about her everyday. The house is filled with her pictures. Her name “momma” will forever be in their ears ❤” Please let Jennifer’s story be a constant reminder to always wear your seat belt! Your family loves you, and shouldn’t have to even imagine a life without you.
Katlyn Fowler “Kadi Bug”, 17, went to be with The Lord on October 25, 2016 after being involved in a one-car crash in Troy, TX. Katlyn was a passenger of the vehicle and was not wearing her seat belt. The driver came around a curve too quickly, hit a concrete barrier, and the car began to flip. Katlyn was ejected from the car and killed on impact. The driver was wearing her seat belt and survived with minor cuts and bruises. Just like Kailee’s accident they were less than a mile from home. The driver mentioned that Katlyn said she was not going to wear her seat belt because they were just around the corner. Sadly this is a very common mistake, and we urge you to let this be a reminder to ALWAYS wear your seat belt no matter how close you are to your destination. Katlyn had her whole life in front of her. Together we can carry on her legacy by changing our habits and protecting ourselves and loved ones! #BuckleUp4Katlyn #KaileesAngels Christine Mercer
Issac Martinez, 18 years old, was in a car accident on Mother’s Day of 2019 where he was struck by an 18 wheeler. Issac was nothing short of incredible. He was kind, smart, hard-working, selfless, and a world-class boxer working his way to the Olympics! Isaac went to be with The Lord way too soon. Please remember to always wear your seat belt. You never know what will happen in the next second of your life, and you cannot control the things around you. Your family and friends love you and are counting on you to come home. Please pray for the Martinez family that they will find peace in the arms of The Lord.
Destiny Danford, age 3, unbuckled her seat belt in the backseat just moments before our Lord called her into his arms in heaven. Please read what Destiny has inspired Lee to write, and honor her by sharing this post: “As I forever whisper in my daddy’s thoughts, I will speak through his heart. I am Destiny Rose Danford, child of God. I entered this world 11-13-13, and due to seat belt complication I was ejected from the car, receiving my angel wings on 7-14-17. Daddy don’t cry, I didn’t enter this world alone, the Lord sent me on a mission to win souls and bring them closer to Jesus Christ. People say when I entered a room I lit it up, but it was the Lord’s love that glowed through me. Jesus taught my daddy and I to be kind and have compassion for all. Daddy always told me he was the most blessed father ever and it felt like heaven raining on him when I was born. He said I was the true love that he had waited for all his life. Daddy, I know you saw me every second when I was born, and I will forever be the air that you breathe until my mission is completed. Daddy, I know that each teardrop you have cried represents the memories we didn’t have time to make on earth, but there will be infinite memories made when we are together again in heaven, so Daddy please don’t cry. I am praying for everyone on earth to please buckle up, and want people to hear my story to save lives.” #BuckleUp4Destiny #KaileesAngels
Connor Williams, 15, along with his friend David Waag, 17, were both welcomed home by The Lord in August of 2017. They were both Clark County high school athletes in Springfield, Ohio and full of life and happiness! Both were riding in the backseat, when the car they were in drifted off the right side of the road, over corrected and ran off the left side of the road, hitting two trees. Like so many of us, they were not wearing their seat belts in the backseat. The two in the front seat were wearing their seat belts and survived. Connor was always all about football. He definitely wanted to play at the next level after graduating! His mom, Devin, said, “He was creative and outgoing. He loved drawing and to this day we are still finding random sketches from him throughout the house.” Connor enjoyed being outside and around nature, and he especially loved animals. He was a very active kinesthetic learner, so a typical lecture based high school course was not his style. When he got accepted into Global Impact STEM Academy for high school, he thrived. The hands on learning combined with his raw artistic ability and creativity led him to the dream of being an engineer. With him being only a sophomore when he died, his post graduation plans stopped there. At the time he was more concerned with football games and friends!
Angelica Melissa Matamoros
Angelica Melissa Matamoros lost her life November 7, 2016 at the young age of 20. Her mother said she ALWAYS wore her seat belt and will never understand what happened and why she was not wearing her seat belt this one time. She is described by her family as an amazing soul who left an impact on everyone she came into contact with. Her smile was so beautiful and incredibly contagious that it would turn anyone’s darkest days into a ray of sunshine and fill it with happiness. Her life was truly her family. Her favorite things included spending time with family, movie nights, dancing, traveling, makeup with mommy, shopping and most importantly, holiday Starbucks beverages. Angelica and her mom got matching tattoos. Her mom’s said “To infinity…”; Angelica’s said “…and beyond”. She was full of life and had so much to give. She was waiting to turn 21 because to wanted to apply to become a flight attendant like her mom. Angelica is now a beautiful angel watching over us all.
Garrett Paul Soileau
Garrett Paul Soileau, 22, was tragically killed in a single car crash on December 15, 2017 as his vehicle tire hit a median curb which caused his truck to flip several times before hitting a tree. He was not wearing his seat belt.
Garrett was a rugby player and mechanical engineering senior at Arkansas State University. Here are some words from his mother, Christi: “Garrett Soileau was an incredible young man with a love for life and a passion for the game of rugby. He had a zest for life like we have never witnessed before. He gave of himself to everyone and made this world a better place. In his short 22 years, he accomplished more than most people do in a lifetime. He traveled across the country playing a sport he loved and made lifetime friendships with everyone he came across. He looked at the positive in people and in life and was always willing to give a helping hand. His smile, great bear-like hugs, laugh and incredible personality are greatly missed. Garrett will never get the opportunity to make his dreams a reality. Please don’t make a mistake that could cut your dreams short.”
David Ralph Tucker
David Ralph Tucker, 19, lost his life on January 13, 2018 in a one-car crash after hitting a culvert and being ejected from the car after it overturned. He was not wearing his seat belt.
Please pray for their family, and use David’s story as a reminder to always buckle your seat belt.