Grief to action: Parents launch seat belt awareness movement after daughter killed in crash

Jessica Willey Image
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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Parents launch seat belt awareness movement after daughter killed in crash.

SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- "It's the worst thing a parent can go through."

The parents of a Spring teen killed in a rollover crash have turned their grief into action, launching a seat belt awareness movement.

"We just hope no one else has to deal with this," David Mills told Eyewitness News.

Their 16-year-old daughter, Kailee Mills, was with three friends on their way to a Halloween party on Oct. 28. She was riding in the back seat with a friend. Her parents believe the Klein Collins High School junior, usually vigilant about wearing her seat belt, unbuckled to take a selfie with the friend.

It would be her last.

Kailee died after a single car rollover wreck on Rothwood, just blocks from her home. Harris County Sheriff's deputies believe the driver was speeding and lost control of the car. It flipped and Kailee was ejected. She was the only person not wearing her seat belt. The others survived.

"All I kept saying was, 'It's not real, it's not real," said Wendy Mills, Kailee's mother.

"We know if she had her seat belt on, she'd still be here," added David Mills.

So the Mills have founded the Kailee Mills Foundation, in honor of their bubbly and compassionate daughter. Its signature ribbon is now on helmets and cars all over the Spring area in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of always buckling up.

"It doesn't matter if you're going a mile or 100 miles," said David. "Everyone always questions why? Why did this happen? And we're never going to know the answer to that, but we know we can do something positive and I think that's what she would want us to do."

A fundraiser to benefit the Kailee Mills Foundation is scheduled for 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Bareback Bar and Icehouse on Kuykendahl Road in Spring. The fundraiser is free and kid-friendly.

All proceeds will go toward teen seat belt awareness in the greater Houston area.

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