An Olathe mother is trying to make something good of her daughter's death by sending a message.
Charlie Hendricks gathered friends and family Friday night to remember her daughter and announce the start of an organization aimed at educating people about the dangers of texting and driving.
Her daughter, 25-year-old Tamiqua Hendricks, rolled her SUV on Interstate 35 just north of Gardner, KS, last summer and died. She was not wearing her seat belt.
"There are things you can do to stop this disaster," Charlie Hendricks told the crowd. "If your cell phone rings, let it ring."
Remarks from friends and family were punctuated with the phrase, "Shut it down." It's the name if the organization she founded. The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase as meaning "to end a situation of your making because it has gotten out of control." That's what she hopes to do to the distracted driving behavior that contributed to her daughter's death.
Family friend Reginald Barnes told the crowd, "Let's learn from past mistakes going forward so that we can become smarter y'all."
A start, he said, would be to simply spread the word from that gathering to others and hold them accountable.
"Just remind them nicely," he said. "'We said we weren't going to do that no more.' If everybody tells one person, you see how many people that's going to be at the end of this year. That many lives changed, saved, affected."
Tamiqua Hendricks left behind a son, who is now 5 years old, and being cared for jointly by his father and her mother. The two are now sharing a home to make that happen.
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