"Something good needs to come out of something bad." The mother of one the four teens killed on a deadly stretch of road in Haymarket, Va., is encouraged by a new police program designed to teach safe driving to high school students.
Dee Mauratidis will forever be connected to Logmill Road, a hilly stretch of land in Haymarket, Va. Last month, her 15-year-old daughter, Savanna, and Savanna’s 15-year-old friend Kendra Tucker were killed when the car they were riding in smashed into a tree.
The driver lost control of the vehicle after hitting a deer near James Madison Highway, Prince William County police said. None of the five teenagers in the car, Battlefield High School students, was wearing a seatbelt. After a lengthy investigation, police arrested the 18-year-old driver and charged him with reckless driving.
“The driver, Christopher Suarez, was driving above the posted speed limit and that endangerment led to the accident,” said Officer Jonathan Perok, of the Prince William County Police Department.
Kendra died at the scene. Savanna died two days later.
This accident came fewer than nine months after two other teens from Battlefield High School were killed when their speeding car swerved into oncoming traffic.
Many in the community said what makes Logmill Road so dangerous are the hills that obstruct drivers’ views. Recently, the County announced it will spend nearly $3 million to make the road completely flat.
But it’s not the hills that should be blamed, Dee Mauratidis said, but the teens looking for a thrill.
“It’s really the drivers, people driving too fast, kids trying to have fun, not wearing their seatbelts and thinking they’re invincible,” she said.
To put an end to the tragedies, on Wednesday Prince William County Police will hold a safe driving presentation at Battlefield High School, focusing on laws and what parents can do to educate their teens.
“The course is only good if someone pays attention to it and takes away something from it,” Officer Perok said.
“Something good needs to come out of something bad,” Mauratidis said. “So as long as people wear their seat belts and are conscious of what they’re doing when they’re driving and know there are always consequences to your actions, so choose accordingly.”
Suarez is being held in prison without bond until his next court appearance on Sept. 14.