World Day of Remembrance held in Raleigh for NC drivers who lost their lives in 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Approximately 1,412 people were killed on North Carolina roads in 2017.

On Sunday, those victims were represented at the State Capitol by a display of shoes.

As the holiday travel season gets underway, the group NC Vision Zero says they want the visual message to drive home the point that many of the accidents could have been prevented. Rick Trice knows that first hand.

"It only takes a second," he said.

Everyday, the 36-year-old carries the burden of being responsible for a deadly crash.

Earlier this year, the father of three from Durham was speeding to work in a 35 speed zone when he hit a young woman crossing the road.

She died at the scene.

"I think about her a lot. 20 years old. That's young. Who knows what was ahead for her," Trice stated.

Trice says he ended up losing his job with the City of Durham over the incident.

NC Vision Zero says that the main cause behind many of last year's crashes ranged from speeding, drunk driving, people not wearing a seat belt and distracted driving.

During NC Vision Zero's Day of Remembrance event, Tammy Garlock told the crowd about her 17-year-old son Brian Garlock, who in 2008 was killed near Charlotte when he was trying to make a left hand turn while dialing his phone.
"No one should lose a loved one all because of the press of a button on a silly little phone," Garlock stated.

This Thanksgiving, AAA estimates 48.5 million people will hit the road, nearly a 5 percent increase from last year.

Victim's loved ones and survivors urged drivers to be accountable, be aware and drive responsibly.

"If one person takes anything that I said and incorporate it into their daily driving habits, then that's a mission accomplished for me," Trice said. "It could safe a life."

NC Vision Zero is calling on lawmakers to pass a hand-free law preventing drivers from using their phones behind the wheel.

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