Young Woman Uses Experience to Warn About Distracted Driving

LAS VEGAS -- A young woman who nearly died in a car accident three years ago is warning others about the dangers of distracted and/or driving.

Seventeen-year-old Chelsie Hill got into a car with a drunk driver, and her life changed forever. Doctors told the avid dancer everything would be different.

"Hearing those words, 'You're never going to walk again,' was just kind of a reality check," Hill said.

Hill, now age 21, spends her days in a wheelchair and on the road. She's started a foundation called Walk and Roll that allows her to talk with teens about the dangers of drinking and distracted driving.

"They don't get that something might happen to them," Hill said. "It's not like you have to be scared of life, but it's just being a little extra cautious of things and people around you, because I know people who have been texting and driving, and they kill somebody else."

Hill helped teens and parents address those very issues Saturday at the CIG Community Safety event Saturday morning.

"Our goal is just to spread the word for safety and keep kids safe and prevent them from being in dangerous situations," said Susan Bauman, a CIG safety event sponsor.

Metro Police say distracted driving is a huge problem on valley streets.

"We can't assume that we're the only ones driving on the road," Metro Police Officer Jose Hernandez said. "Distractions are huge. When you're in the vehicle, remember you're driving a potential weapon."

Today, Hill is a champion for people with spinal cord injuries and has started a wheelchair dance team. She has also starred on the Sundance Channel's "Push Girls."

"You are who you are," Hill said. "If you're in a wheelchair, then you're beautiful that way,"

While she would like to walk again, Hill says this has given her what she needs to advocate for others.

Hill's non-profit is based in California, but she's trying to spread it to Nevada. She's already spoken to three valley schools about driving dangers.

So far this year, Metro police say 79 people have died on valley roads.


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