Click the names to learn more about our girls.

 

On Tuesday April 6th, 1999, the communities of Kill Devil Hills, NC and Burlington County NJ were shattered by a terrible car crash. A drunken driver with a previous history of drunk driving arrests ran a red light in Kill Devil Hills and slammed into a car carrying five teenagers. One of the teens lived in NC, the other four had come from Burlington County, NJ, to visit. The teenagers Megan Blong, Amanda Geiger, Shana Lawler, and Angela McGrady all died as a result of the crash. Mike Horner received serious injuries, but survived. The drunken driver received minor injuries and was charged with DWI and other offenses.

 

Click on the flower for photos of the accident scene and the two vehicles:

The charges were later upgraded to four counts of second degree murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon. Her trial began January 10, 2000, in Manteo, North Carolina, and on Friday, January 14, the 30 year-old was found guilty on all counts. She was sentenced to a minimum of 60 years in prison.

  Read the Impact Statements presented in court by the families of each teen:

 

  A candlelight vigil was held at Kill Devil Hills on May 22, 2000. To read what was presented by each family, click here:


Angela's Mother Megan's Father   Amanda's Family   Megan's Family 
  Amanda's Father Shana's Mother    Mike's Family   Shana's Family 
 Mike's Father Shana's Father       

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The parents of Megan Blong, Amanda Geiger, Shana Lawler, Angela McGrady, and Mike Horner have established a memorial fund called Precious Gems.

 

OUR MISSION STATEMENT:

The Precious Gems Memorial is a non-profit corporation dedicated to working with our communities to increase public awareness of the dangers of Drinking and Driving.

OUR VISION:

It is the Vision of the Precious Gems Memorial, Inc., to save lives by protecting our communities from Drunk Drivers. We do this first and foremost by working with our communities to increase public awareness of the dangers of Drunk Driving. We work with young people and participate in community-based events where we can distribute literature and talk to people about making a commitment to safe driving and responsible alcohol consumption.

The Precious Gems Memorial is dedicated to keeping the memory of our girls alive. On April 6th, 1999, Megan Blong, Amanda Geiger, Shana Lawler, and Angela McGrady were all killed by the same drunk driver. Each one was in her own way a shining example of youth, hope, and love of life. It is important that people know how much was lost in just one senseless act of criminal recklessness. Our uncompromising intolerance for Drunk Driving is dedicated in loving memory to them.

What do we do?

For more information or to leave a message, contact:

PreciousGems@justice.com

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In New Jersey

Billboards have been placed

 

In North Carolina 

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It is the goal of the founders to urge communities to become actively involved in Drunken Driving awareness. We are often involved with programs or events which promote this idea. Your participation in these events can help make your community a safer place to live.

 UPCOMING EVENTS

  PREVIOUS EVENTS

 

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO

IF YOU BECOME A VICTIM OF A DRUNK DRIVER?

Take advice from RID

 What if you need help NOW??

  • The Center for Mindful Living and Trauma Recovery in Moorestown, NJ, may be able to assist you in coping with the immediate trauma in addition to related PTSD.
  • Contact MADD - this link will get you in touch with their Victims Services Dept., and help you locate the MADD chapter closest to you.
 

 

Click photo to enlarge

We would like to thank
Susana
Garcia-Ruiz

of Hampton HS in Virginia who created this acrostic poem in memory of our girls.


What can you do to help?

 

Donations to the Precious Gems Memorial can be sent to:

Precious Gems Memorial, Inc.
P.O. Box 1232 
Medford, NJ 08055


 

Our ADDRESSES page provides some names, addresses, telephone numbers, and websites for public officials to whom you can write letters and express your concerns regarding Drunken Driving. It even has an example of a letter you can copy into your computer. Pick up the phone, send them an email, or write them a letter today.
 

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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

IF YOU SEE A DRUNK OR RECKLESS DRIVER ON THE ROAD,

CALL THE POLICE!

Be prepared to give the name of the road where you saw the drunk driver, his direction of travel, and the make and color of the car.

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PENNSYLVANIA

DIAL 1-800-TAKE KEYS

(1-800-825-3539)

NEW JERSEY:

ON YOUR CELL PHONE PRESS *911

FROM ANY OTHER PHONE, DIAL 1-888-SAF-ROAD

NORTH CAROLINA

ON YOUR CELL PHONE PRESS *HP (*47)

FOR HIGHWAY PATROL

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 Kenneth W. Birdwell was killed by a drunk driver on October 25, 1998. He was riding his motorcycle when he was hit; the driver of the other vehicle said he never saw him. Ken was killed instantly. He is survived by his wife, Debbi, and two sons, Jason, 23, and Steve, 19.

The victim impact statement presented by Jason at the trial is not only a loving tribute to his father, but a touching example of just what a drunk driver has taken away.

Read his letter - Dear Dad

 

Links to what others are doing about this growing problem:

  • Alcohol Addiction - Statisticsabout the dangers of alcohol abuse and encouragement to those suffering from addiction to seek treatment.
  • Addiction Recovery - Alcohol Abuse - This list of frequently asked questions will help anyone interested in learning more about alcohol dependency to understand what it is and how to determine if someone has a drinking problem.  (Thank you, Danielle!)
  • Addiction Solutions - All about alcolhol use and addictions, a South Florida program.
  • The Alcohol Detox Guide: Staying Healthy on the Road to Sober:
  • Alcohol: Problems and Solutions - provides useful information on alcohol and drinking issues such as drinking and driving, health, underage drinking, binge drinking, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and many others. Includes an alcohol knowledge quiz.
  • Dangers to Your Health: Alcohol Abuse Helpful links compiled by Lakeview Health Systems of Florida. (Thank you Kayleigh for the suggestion!)
  • END DWI - Supports victims while advocating anti-drunk driving through speaking and holding public eveents.
  • Inflexxion - creators of tools for clinicians, educators and clients that can assist in the detection and assessment of alcohol and drug use problems, as well as provide substance abuse education and motivational interventions.
  • Kindness Revolution - ONE PERSON really CAN change the world around them - and the more people we get involved with this revolution - the bigger the piece of the world we all change becomes!
  • PADUI - the Pennsylvania DUI Association - a professional organization which is working to address the DUI problem in all of its many stages
  • RADD - An internationally recognized nonprofit organization that uses celebrity power to create positive attitudes about road safety.
  • TIPS - Training for Intervention Procedures - a program which teaches prevention of the misuse of alcohol.
  • Westwind - a blog intended to help you acheive and maintain sobriety
  • What's Driving You? Virtual Party - a "choose your own adventure" type of story involving making choices and learning of the possible consequences.

Links to other useful information:

Other sites dedicated to the girls:
 

The purpose of this web site is to assist us in raising awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. Feel free to use any of our information or photographs in your efforts to further that mission!

Last updated 12/1/2016

 

Web site of the month March 2006