Houston Teenager’s Death Remembered In Sculpture To Encourage Seat Belt Use

The sculpture depicting the car crash is part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s annual Click It or Ticket campaign.

A new sculpture has been unveiled outside of Houston City Hall honoring Kailee Mills, a 16-year-old from Spring who died in a car crash two years ago.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) unveiled the sculpture Wednesday as part of its annual “Click It or Ticket” campaign to encourage drivers to buckle up.

The piece depicts a black vehicle turning in midair with two nondescript passengers in the front with their seatbelts on. In the back, a girl with blonde hair is taking a selfie without a seatbelt on.

Two Halloweens ago, Mills was in a car with her friends when she quickly removed her seatbelt to take a photo. The car abruptly stopped, throwing Mills to her death.

In honor of her story, Mill's parents are traveling around Texas with TxDOT and the sculpture to create awareness.

"From two heartbroken parents, this is our message. Always wear your seatbelt. Every time you get in the car. Check your passengers. Look around. Look out for each other," David Mills said.

Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying by 45% for passengers in the front seat, according to TxDOT. Yet in 2018, 982 Texans died on the highways and streets while not buckled up. That was a 6% increase from 2017.

Under Texas law, drivers and passengers caught without their seatbelts on can face fines and court costs up to $200.

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