Teenager (16) killed seconds after removing seat belt to take selfie
The grieving parents of a teenager killed seconds after she took off her seatbelt to take a selfie are launching a campaign to convince people to keep their belts on at all times.
Kailee Mills, 16, was with three friends in a car near her home in Texas, heading out to a party when the vehicle crashed and rolled over.
The other three teenagers, who had their seatbelts on, survived.
“We know if she had her seatbelt on, she'd still be here,” said her father, David.
Kailee - a “happy, bubbly and outgoing” girl, according to family and friends - was in the back seat of the car, in Spring, near Houston. The group had been on their way to a Halloween party last October.
Her parents say although she normally followed the law in wearing her belt, she unfastened it to take a selfie with her friend.
Authorities believe the driver was speeding and lost control of the car, news station KTRK reported.
Now the couple have launched the Kailee Mills Foundation, which works to provide stickers for car windows and motorbike helmets across the region to remind drivers and passengers to buckle up.
They are also joining the Texas Department of Transportation for an awareness drive, using the slogan “Click it or ticket”.
"We just hope no one else has to deal with this," Mr Mills told Eyewitness News on ABC13.
"It doesn't matter if you're going a mile or 100 miles. Everyone always questions 'Why? Why did this happen?' And we're never going to know the answer to that but we know we can do something positive, and I think that's what she would want us to do."
Wendy Mills, Kailee's mother, said: "All I kept saying was, 'It's not real, it's not real’."
“She had a laugh that was unique and the laugh alone made you smile, and she loved to make people smile,” Ms Mills told the Fox 26 news station.
In 2014, a woman driver died in a head-on collision in North Carolina just seconds after she posted selfies on Facebook.
Independent News Service