Perhaps you remember the 2008 distracted-driving crash in Cumberland involving a 24-year-old young woman as well as journalists Susan Kimball and Aaron Twombley. The driver who was responsible for that horrific crash, Heather Dawn Bouchard, was my daughter.

In 2009, I began sharing my daughter’s story to raise awareness of and educate people on dangers of distracted driving. I have shared her story with schools and corporations around the state and around the country.

What began as my mission to save other moms from the heart-wrenching and absolutely unnecessary loss morphed into a kind of frustration – don’t people get it?

I am disappointed that I haven’t been able to do more to bring about tougher legislation and more realistic enforcement for distracted drivers in Maine. On numerous occasions, I have contacted legislative representatives requesting an invitation to the capital in hopes of convincing the powers-that-be to get tougher on distracted driving.

Living in Madawaska, so far from our state capital in Augusta, I felt ignored. Believe me, if I lived in southern Maine, I would be very well known and hopefully heard.

It is not easy on any level to know that my beloved daughter was responsible for her own death, in a crash that also might have resulted in the death of or serious injury to the journalists. It is not easy to speak about Heather as a less-than-responsible driver on that fateful morning. Heather had always been a totally responsible human being in every other aspect of her life.

Might the state of Maine be ready to bring a stop to drivers using cellular devices while driving?

Judy Bouchard


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