“Our grandma wants to make the roads safer.” Remembering 2 girls in the aftermath of a truck crash

Marcus & Vanessa were particularly close to their aunts–having spent countless hours with them from birth until AnnaLeah & Mary moved away from Texas in 2012 when Marcus was 6 and Vanessa was 3. So the tragic truck underride crash, which killed AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) on May 4, 2013, was especially devastating for Marcus and Vanessa.

The other day, I thought about the idea of “interviewing” Marcus and Vanessa about their memories of AnnaLeah and Mary and what they thought could make underride guards stronger. After asking their mom and dad about the idea, I bought a toy big rig and a car and sat down with Marcus and Vanessa to talk.

Vanessa, her mom said, gets frustrated because she can’t remember very much. But I thought that it was important for her to talk about it. Marcus, on the other hand, says that he remembers them clearly.

After talking in generalities and moving to specifics, it got harder for Marcus to talk about it all. So, when my camera memory got full, it was just as well. I took Marcus on my lap, and we cried together–wishing that they were with us “right now.” These are some of the things which Marcus shared off camera:

  • Why did they have to die?
  • I wish that they could be here now and I could be doing things with them. I don’t know what we’d be doing. But I wouldn’t be crying.
  • I thought Mary was going to be fine when I found out she was at the hospital. I was sure. But it happened anyway.
  • Aunt Mary was my favorite person in the family.
  • Aunt AnnaLeah was a bookworm so I did more things with Aunt Mary. . . but I want both of them to be here!

Marcus and Vanessa both had some ideas about how trucks could be made safer so that cars wouldn’t go under them and people wouldn’t get hurt and die. Out of the mouths of babes. . .

Marcus & Vanessa talk about AnnaLeah & Mary and about how underride guards could be stronger:

A longer version of the interview with Marcus and Vanessa: 

Facebook Photo Album of Marcus & Vanessa with AnnaLeah & Mary:  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.480711025344750.1073741852.464993830249803&type=3

Marcus & Vanessa’s mom talks about their loss:  https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=577896972292821&id=464993830249803 & http://annaleahmary.com/2015/05/a-familys-joys-sorrows/

Underride Research:  https://www.fortrucksafety.com/ & http://annaleahmary.com/2015/10/underride-roundtable-save-the-date-may-5-2016/

Vision Zero Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

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