A group of high-powered players, and a mom who lost her son, gathered in Concord Friday to talk about the dangers of distracted driving just two weeks after the deaths of a father and daugter killed by a teenage driver.
Martha Tessmer lost her 17-year-old son, Donovan, when died in a 2007 crash in Madera. He was a passenger in a car with other teens who she said were driving recklessly.
"There's not a day that goes by yet that I don't cry for my son," she said.
Tessmer said she gets angry when she sees people talking or texting on the road.
"I just want to scream at them, do you not know what you could be doing to a family if you don't look at the road for a second?" she said.
The event, held by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), chair of the transportation committee, was timed to coincide with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which runs through April. So far, 3,000 tickets have been issued statewide throughout the campaign. DeSaulnier said that California was the first state to make texting and driving illegal.
Making the conference more poignoint was the April 7 tragedy in Concord, where a 17-year-old boy lost control of his SUV and fatally struck Solaiman Nuri, 41, and his 9-year-old daughter, Hadessa, who were out for a Saturday morning bike ride.
Tessmer and Kelly Browning of Impact Teen Drivers, one of several agencies that were part of Friday's conference, both met with Nuri's widow and remaining daughter.
"There's nothing you can do to take the pain away that family is going to feel," Browning said. "The only thing we can offer through our program is to continue to try and prevent other tragedies by educating young people about how critical it is to stay focused on one thing when they're driving and that is their driving.