SOUTHFIELD, Mich., August 20, 2020 — Christensen Law has announced Mary Gillette as the winner of its annual Distracted Driving Scholarship.
“Whether it’s reading a text or changing the radio station, distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic that can lead to devastating accidents,” said David Christensen, founder of Christensen Law. “As a Michigan car accident attorney, we’ve seen the tragic effect of distracted driving firsthand.”
Thousands of people are killed every year by distracted driving accidents. This is what inspired Christensen Law to launch the scholarship, now in its fourth year. In addition to raising awareness by encouraging students to write a 2,000-word entry on the dangers of distracted driving, it also helps students who are in need of financial assistance to pay for college.
Christensen Law received 189 entries for this year’s scholarship. Gillette’s story was picked for its unique approach and clear understanding of the gravity of distracted driving. Gillette, who lives in Waterbury, CT, is attending Assumption University in Massachusetts.
Gillette’s entry to the scholarship is a heartful fictional account of the death of a young girl’s sister by a distracted driver and the impact it has on their family, ending with the surviving sister giving a heartfelt speech in the courtroom where the distracted driver was on trial for the accident.
“Because you decided to check your phone that day my life is changed forever. The lives of my family will never be the same. Alyssa’s friends and boyfriend will always wonder who she would become later in life,” wrote Gillette at the end of her essay. “Because of your reckless actions, my sister is gone. You have ruined my life and taken hers. Please, whoever is listening to this, do not check your phone while driving. You won’t realize the consequences of your actions until it is too late.”
We applaud Mary’s creativity and commitment to increasing awareness among her peer group about the dangers of distracted driving, and wish her well in all her future endeavors.