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Rules of the road

Drive safe, victim's twin urges

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Oct 26/01) - A 25-year-old woman from British Columbia, who watched her identical twin die in a car crash seven years ago spoke to Yellowknife students about traffic safety this week.

Two months after her sister's death, Cara Johnston began travelling to schools around the world. She visited five Yellowknife schools this week.

"My first presentation was 15 minutes and all I did was cry hysterically," she said. "But it gave me some reason to still be here."

In the first half of her presentation, Johnston told students humorous tales about life as a twin, which gave the tragedy even more impact.

Johnston told students that a day after her 18th birthday, she watched from behind as her sister's new boyfriend lost control of his car. He was travelling 160 km/h in a 50-kilometre zone.

"He spent 15 days in jail and got $150 speeding ticket," Johnston told students. "Your life is worth more than $150."

"I don't want them to learn through experience," Johnston said after speaking to students at Mildred Hall. "I want them to learn through my experience."

The leading cause of death among youth under 25 is car accidents.

"It should be our number 1 health issue but it's not," she said.

Students were impressed with Johnston.

"You realize how much you care about your family and how much they care about you," said Kirsten Dunkley, a Grade 8 student at Mildred Hall.

Her friend, Justine Foote, agreed. "It was actually pretty good, compared to the ones I've seen before," she said.