16-Year-Old Killed in Car Crash for a Heartbreaking Reason

Chris Jasurek
By Chris Jasurek
May 8, 2018US News
16-Year-Old Killed in Car Crash for a Heartbreaking Reason
Wendy, Kailee, and David Mills before the family was shattered by tragedy. (Fox screenshot)

NTD Photo

Taking selfies is a part of life for most teens.

For Kailee Mills, unbuckling her seat belt to take a selfie led to her death.

The 16-year-old teen from Texas was riding with her friends on Halloween weekend. She was only 500 yards from home.

She unbuckled her seatbelt so she could maneuver into position to take a selfie with her friends to memorialize their excursion. While she was shooting her picture, the driver lost concentration.

Disaster followed.

“The car went off the road. She was ejected and she died instantly,” Kailee’s father David Mills told Fox News.

“All the other kids in the car they had their seat belts on and they all survived with very little injury,” Mills continued.

“Our daughter would be here today if she had been wearing her seat belt,” concluded the grieving father.

Kailee’s parents, David and Wendy Mills, responded to losing their daughter by helping other families avoid the same fate.

The Mills started the Kailee Mills Foundations, a non-profit which distributes decals to pit on car windows reminding everyone to buckle up.

They have also donated a pair of Kailee’s shoes to the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

To give “Click it or Ticket” a visual impact, TXDOT has created a display of 929 pairs of shoes, mostly white—one for each of the people who died on Texas roads last year while not wearing a seatbelt.

“Our daughter’s shoes are the pink ones that we placed there to represent her. They call them ghost shoes. I can almost see all the people standing here,” David Mills told Fox.

Seat belts really do save lives, TXDOT says. Wearing a seatbelt reduces the chance of dying in a crash by 45 percent in a car or SUV, and 60 percent in a pickup truck.

Buckling up is the single most effective lifesaving action a driver or passenger can choose.

Texas police officers will be making ticketing unbuckled drivers and passengers a priority while the campaign is running. David and Wendy Mills will be doing their best to tell the teens—a selfie might be fun, but a seatbelt can be life-saving.

Kailee would surely help spread the message in person if she could. Her parents are doing what they can to find some good in her loss, and to honor her memory.


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