It seems like cell phones can do anything. They can give us directions and the time, and many can speak to us. However, this luxury came at a high price for Jacy Good and her family: her parents were killed and she seriously injured in an accident in May 2008 due to distracted driving because of a cell phone.
Good made an appearance Feb. 23 at Northern Kentucky University in the Otto Budig Theater thanks to the Activities Programming Board (APB).
Christina Hoesl, the director of APB, heard Good speak while attending a Nation Conference held by the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) in St Louis. After hearing her speak, Hoesl was confident Good would make a positive impact on NKU’s students.
At the time of the accident, Good had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa. It was May of 2008.
She was ready to show the world what she could do. “I had my entire future ahead of me and nothing was going to stand in my way,” Good said. But the celebration soon came to a shocking end after the devastating accident happened.
Good’s father Jay was driving Good and her mother, Jean, at the time of the accident. An 18-year-old male was talking on his cell phone and ran a red light, causing another car carrying a tractor trailer to collide into the Good family’s station wagon.
Both Jean and Jay were killed almost instantly. Jacy was in critical condition, but if it weren’t for the efforts of an off-duty paramedic who heard the crash from his home, Good would have been dead as well.
After the accident, Good spent two months in a coma and had to undergo multiple operations in order to remain alive. As days turned to weeks and weeks into months, Good finally regained her ability to walk and talk again.
As time marched forward, her grief slowly began to transform into anger. “As upset and angry as I was, deep down I knew the only way to change what had been done was to go out and tell the world my story,” she said.
She began speaking to high school students and lawmakers across America with the hope that she could help prevent someone else from experiencing the same awful fate.
Hoesl wanted Good to present her story before spring break. “When I saw [Good] at the NACA Conference, I really enjoyed her speech, and I felt that students could relate to her story and that they would be able to take away something from the experience,” Hoesl said.
Before her presentation, Good revealed why she is compelled to tell her story. “The main reason I started traveling to different states was not only to get others informed about my story and the dangers involved with distracted driving, but also as a coping method,” she said. “Each time I do a presentation, I feel more closure.”
Good ended the speech with some inspirational words. “No matter what happens in life, remember it all comes out in the wash,” she said.
Those words hit hard for psychology major Erica Osborne.
“Her story was meaningful and really opened my eyes in the sense that we do take life for granted,” Osborne said. “And she was right that we shouldn’t dwell on the negative side of things but rather the positive aspects of our lives. The negative things will not matter later on,” Osborne said.