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Mom Of 2 Killed In Crash Begins Distracted Driving Awareness To Emergency Responders

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)- A mother who lost two daughters in a crash with a police cruiser is bringing her crusade of safety about the dangers of distracted driving to Denver metro area agencies.

Kim Schlau is from Illinois. She’s traveling around the country sharing her personal crusade with different law enforcement agencies, up to 60 agencies each year.

Earlier this week she spoke to officers with the Denver Police Department.

She talked to Lakewood Police cadets on Thursday. She said if she saves just one life it will be worth it.

Kim Schlau in Lakewood on Thursday (credit: CBS)

Kim Schlau in Lakewood on Thursday (credit: CBS)

“I present a story about my older two daughters, Jessica and Kelli,” said Schlau.

Schlau lost her 13-year-old daughter Kelli and 18-year-old daughter Jessica in 2007 when an Illinois State Patrol officer collided with a vehicle the girls were riding in.

Kelli & Jessica were killed when they were struck by an Illinois State Patrol officer (credit: CBS)

Kelli & Jessica were killed when they were struck by an Illinois State Patrol officer (credit: CBS)

“I started showing pictures of my daughter because every parent likes to talk about their kids. This gives me an opportunity to introduce them to people who otherwise wouldn’t know them,” said Schlau.

He was reportedly traveling 126 mph while using his computer and personal cellphone. Dispatch had told the trooper he was no longer needed but didn’t hear the message because he was distracted. He was convicted of four felonies and lost his driver’s license.

Schlau recognizes that sometimes law enforcement officers are required to do multiple tasks while inside their vehicles but believes there must be a safer way.

“There’s not a maximum speed limit, but you have to drive with the public in mind, in other words, the law doesn’t allow for reckless driving,” said Lakewood Police Sgt. Bob Major.

She was also surprised to learn how little training there is when it comes to officers and driving.

“You know it was interesting to see what training law enforcement has. I really thought they had more training at driving and a lot of departments don’t have training outside of what they had at the academy,” said Schlau.

“So being a part of this training and working with other training organizations that do law enforcement training, I think, is really starting to get the message out there because having a personal account of what happened to me really makes an impact on a lot of these officers.”

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