Classmate's fatal crash spurs Kiski Area teens' safety video

| Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009

Some Kiski Area High School students say the boring videos in driver education class made them fall asleep, not learn safe driving.

So Chelsea Markle, Zac Steele and several classmates spent two years creating a peer-to-peer video after fellow Kiski Area High School junior Lacey Huskuliak, 17, of Bell, was killed in a car crash on Route 66.

"We wanted to keep people's attention," said Steele, 19, of Oklahoma Borough. "We wanted to change the way people drive."

The video will be distributed to 90 Pennsylvania schools to educate students about driving while distracted, said Jennifer McAfee, the high school driver education teacher.

Markle, 18, who appears as a newscaster in the video, said its message was summarized by classmate Matt Cline, who was a passenger in a car that hit a tree at 60 mph. Cline broke his back, was in a coma for three days, on a ventilator for two weeks and in the hospital for a month.

"Be more careful and choose who you hang out with better," Cline said during an interview in the video. "You need to choose who you get into a vehicle with more carefully."

Markle said a video made by students can be more effective than one made by adults.

Markle and Steele, now college freshmen, were among a group of students who were prompted by Huskuliak's death on June 7, 2007.

"We want teenagers to see it, because we want kids to understand that (car crashes) are the number one killer of 15- to 20-year-olds," McAfee said. "It supersedes everything, and no one is doing anything."

The group received two grants totaling $2,000 from State Farm Insurance to create the video, which can be viewed on the Internet at

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