Katelyn Young knows the hazards of the road. Three years ago she killed a motorcyclist during a lapse in judgment. She was distracted.
“I didn't even see him,” Young says.
Ken Cox was driving his motorcycle that night on an Ogden street.
Young turned left without looking and thinking.
“I was up in the clouds a little bit,” she says.
Cox who had the right of way hit Young’s vehicle.
“After he hit me there was a flash of lights,” she says.
Young says she pulled over and was in shock. Police arrived to the scene.
“They were trying to keep me at my car so I wouldn't see him,” Young says. “He was lying on the road."
Cox died the next day and Young eventually pleaded guilty to negligent homicide. She was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
“(It was) horrible,” she says. “If I could take one thing back it would be that (moment of the accident).”
Young must also do 150 hours of community service. She’s visited high schools in Weber and Davis counties.
“(I tell them to) put down your cell phones and food and (stop) putting your make up in your car or talking to people in the back seat,” Young says. “Just focus on what you’re doing.”
ABATE Utah of Weber County, a biker organization, is sponsoring Young. Members of ABATE join her during her talks with young students.
“I think we’ve gotten the message out there that you just have to be careful when you’re driving,” Eric Stine says.
“I think it’s had a real impact on students that listen to Katelyn and are on the edge of their seats and we’ve gotten so many positive comments. I’m glad Katelyn came and talked about what happened with her because we need to be more careful.”
Young also took the time to learn more about the man she killed. At the time of his death, Cox had just beaten cancer.
She also met his family and biking brothers during the court process.
“All I could think these people hate me,” she says. “I told them sorry, the same with Ken's mom, I told her I was sorry and I gave her a hug and so it was a good time because it was good to know that they didn't want me dead.”
It was a mistake that cost Young dearly. But she hopes her message is getting through to students.
“I found out you can take somebody's life in a matter of seconds,” she says.