Lesley was my daughter. I started Lesley’s Crusade to reduce the number of deaths from reckless driving.
Every day each of us makes a choice whether to drive according to the traffic laws or not. If we do not obey the traffic laws, we increase the likelihood that we will be involved in a traffic crash or cause one to happen to someone else.
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) reduced the number of fatalities from drunk driving 20% from 1982 (the year Lesley was born) to 2002 (the year Lesley was killed). They have done an outstanding job.
Now, the threat has changed. While 40% of all fatalities now are alcohol related; 60% are not.
Reckless drivers are not all street racers. They are not all teenagers. Quite often they are middle-aged men and women who are otherwise responsible, wonderful neighbors, great providers for their families; people who would never think of breaking laws and endangering innocent lives.And yet, these same people speed, rush the red light, pass on the right to gain a few car lengths, turn right on red without stopping, and coast through stop signs. Why?
Lesley Ann Suthard had no idea that as she was driving home on a Saturday evening, a young man, driving recklessly, would lose control of his car, cross the median, and hit her head on at 90+ mph.
The two young men in the car that hit Lesley were a part of a group of seven young people who had been bowling at Rocklin Lanes and had left to get ice cream. They traveled in two cars: The young man and his passenger were in Car A; the five others were in Car B. Their route was west on I-80 then north on Hwy. 65.
Both cars (A and B) were speeding (between 70-75 mph) in the fast lane, with Car B in front of Car A. A witness in car D told police that Car A “blew by” him and admitted that he (car D) was traveling 85 mph. Car A pulled right into the slow lane and accelerated dramatically. In doing this, Car A was overtaking an unrelated car (Car C) directly in front of him and found himself with no where to go. Car B was still to his left, at least partially. Car A squeezed between the two cars as it pulled left into the fast lane. Car A then lost control, crossed the median and crashed into Lesley’s car (Car L).
The two young men in the car that crashed into her were not wearing their seat belts; and, were both ejected from the car. One died in route to the hospital, and the other died the next afternoon.
There is now a median barrier at the location of the crash.