Lesley Ann Suthard..another needless tragedy

On August 24, 2002, Lesley Ann Suthard, age 20, died a death so devoid of meaning that society calls it an accident.
Accident, a throw-away word, gives the impression that there is no one to blame for what happened. It implies that Lesley’s death was a mistake, that it was not preventable. Lesley’s death was certainly not an accident. It was the predictable result of a driver’s choice to drive in a manner that ignored the possible consequences of his/her actions.
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?
42,000 deaths every year….sudden….violent….preventable
Barbara Keck, PresidentLesley’s Crusade (against reckless drivers)
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).
Lesley was killed instantly.

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.