World Day Of Remembrance For Road Traffic Victims

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25 December 2017
25 December 2017
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The 2018 campaign will also serve as a dedication to the late, David Smith



The Eastern Michigan University gymnastics team announced a partnership with the non-profit organization, People Against Distracted Driving (PADD), for the 2018 season. The mission of PADD is to prevent distracted driving through public awareness and education, and to aid the families of victims effected by distracted driving. This partnership follows the unfortunate passing of David Smith, the father of current student-athlete and gymnast, Allie Smith (Telford, Pa.-Souderton). David was working for the Franconia Township Department of Public Works the day of his death, Sept. 5, a position he had held for almost 30 years. At the time, David and his crew were painting road lines, when a driver struck him and one of his coworkers.

He later passed at Grand View Hospital, while his fellow coworker remained in critical condition. "A girl was going around the curve and just wasn't paying attention," Allie explained. "Taking your eyes off the road for a split second is all it takes. I think a lot of people don't really think about that part, but just mindlessly do it." Allie and the team wish to use their platform to help spread awareness of PADD and its purpose. In order to supplement their goals, the team will be employing various efforts throughout the season to enhance the exposure of PADD, Allie's story, and the problem that is distracted driving. "If I could help anyone going through the same thing and prevent it from happening, even if one person who goes to grab their phone and puts it back down because they know that it can wait, is worth it for me," Allie said. Additionally, the team is dedicating their 2018 season and all their efforts to Allie's father, using the hashtag "Do It for Dave" on the team's social media platforms to honor the Telford, Pa. native. "He's not going to be able to see me compete at Eastern, but I know that since he knows that we're dedicating this season to him, it means a lot to him, and it means a lot to me," Allie expressed. EMU will begin their season-long dedication Saturday, Jan. 6, as they take on Penn State in State College, Pa. The meet set in the Smith family's home state will also serve as the Eagles' regular season opener. For more information on PADD click here, or go to For more information on EMU gymnastics click here, or go to