explaining the details of what happened to him and his friends when he was their age. He tells them why they should never drink and drive.
“Once I started dealing with it in my 30s, the magnitude of that crash, it just really hit me: Why would I not use my voice to speak about it and save lives, especially young people?” says Higgins. “The biggest lesson now is just hearing all the stories and the people who reach out to me, especially coming from youth, saying ‘Mr. Higgins, I never thought of something that way, and you’ve helped me change my mindset.’ Just knowing our story continues to touch and change people.” Quinton rehabbed an old school bus into a rolling memorial to the 27 lives lost in Carrollton. Inside the bus, pictures and names of each victim is attached to the seat they occupied the night of the crash. When Quinton is invited to speak at schools and events, which happens often, he drives the bus, parks it nearby and invites people to walk through it. The invitations Quinton receives to share the story of the Carrollton bus crash — all through word of mouth — tell him he is doing something positive for his community. In October 2018, he was recognized by WLKY, a Kentucky news station, with a “Bell Award” for his volunteerism related to his work toward preventing the tragedies caused by drunk driving.
Quinton Higgins has turned his grief from the bus crash tragedy into a mission to educate the students he interacts with as a school bus driver. He has converted an old bus into a memorial to the 27 people killed in the crash.
Quinton says his busy speaking schedule is evidence that over 30 years later, when drunk driving deaths are on the rise, people still need to hear about the worst drunk driving crash in America. And he needs to talk about it. “The work is a continuing healing process for me because I deal with it every day,” he says. “All of us do.”
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