Banding together for Caitlin

VILLA GROVE, Ill. (WCIA) -- People took a stand to stop distracted driving in honor of 10-year old Caitlin Conner, of Camargo.

She died in a car crash after the vehicle she was in was rear-ended by a distracted driver. It happened June 8, on I-57, near Champaign.

She was in the car with her sister, Lily, and her grandmother. Now people are taking the Caitlin Challenge to try to stop it from happening to someone else.

"Her favorite colors were black purple and blue," says Caitlin's best friend, Kirstyn Jones.

Those are the colors of the bands created to help take a stand in Caitlin's Challenge. It's a challenge people are taking even at 10-years old.

"Of course I'm going to drive safe and do everything I should be doing," says Jones. 

Those older than 10 are doing the same.

"Put it in my purse, put it behind my seat. If you can't reach it, you can't answer it, you can't talk, you can't text on it," says Meagan Quigley, of Villa Grove.

"I know we're all guilty of it. There's been times where I've thought I'm doing it safely because it's something you don't think is going to affect us, but even after this there's times when I kind of reach and forget about it and luckily have my band and I have a picture in my car to help me remember not to do that," says Angela Coady, with Caitlin's Challenge. "I think it's something that we do out of habit and by having these bands and this challenge just out there. I think it's helping make awareness and really remind us to make good choices."

Caitlin's car accident is teaching lessons to youth like Quigley's son.

"It's been a good lesson for him to learn why we do the things we do and having an impact on other people. Our actions have consequences," states Quigley. 

There's one final message for people to keep in mind before hitting the roads.

"I really hope people take this challenge because it's for my best friend and I don't know what I would do if I'd never met her," says Jones.

The money donated for the wrist bands from Caitlin's Challenge will help the family with their expenses. People can still take Caitlin's Challenge. Wrist bands are still available and now they're taking orders for yard signs.

For more information, click here.


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