Heather and Judy Bouchard
MADAWASKA (NEWS CENTER) -- Every day, no matter the weather, Judy Bouchard walks through the memory garden in her backyard on Long Lake.
The garden was created by family and friends in memory of Judy's daughter, Heather Dawn.
Last year, Heather was killed in a car crash on I-295 in Cumberland. She was talking on a cell phone with a client, dropped the phone and unbuckled her seatbelt to reach for it.
State police say in that moment Heather lost control of her car and swerved across the grassy median strip into an oncoming vehicle. That vehicle was a NEWS CENTER live van.
Both of the occupants of the van, reporter Susan Kimball and photographer Aaron Twombly, had only minor cuts and bruises.
Last month, Judy Bouchard contacted Susan in the hopes of doing more to educate Mainers about the dangers of distracted driving. Judy and Heather's dad, Rick, say if they can convince just a few people to stop talking on the phone while driving, their beautiful daughter won't have died in vain.
Heather was only 24 years old. She was a social worker--the perfect calling for a tremendously kind-hearted young woman.
It has been a terrible loss for Judy and Rick and for Heather's brother, Kristofer, and her fiance, Matt.
Judy is also hoping to talk with young people about the importance of always carrying an ID with contact information about next of kin. She says that because Heather didn't have that kind of information with her that day, it took police almost five hours to find her parents.
By the time the Bouchards flew from Madawaska to Portland to get to the hospital, it was too late.
According to the AAA there are six thousand fatalities and three hundred thousand collisions on U.S. roads every year attributable to cell phone use.
DVDs of this story and Texting And Driving Don't Mix
are being made available to educators through a grant from AAA. If you would like one for your organization, please send an email to email@example.com.