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WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 06, 2013, 06:12 PM

Mother and friends of lost daughter hope to spread word of seatbelt importance

Jamestown, ND (WDAY TV) - One North Dakota mother is hoping her daughter's tragic death will be a spark in a new campaign urging the use of seat belts.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Jamestown, ND (WDAY TV) - One North Dakota mother is hoping her daughter's tragic death will be a spark in a new campaign urging the use of seat belts.

Becca Olson was just 16 when she died after being ejected from a truck she was riding in.

Today, Becca's mother and high school friends gathered to remember the teenager, as they urge other teens to buckle up. It is a program called: “U-R Loved-Belt Me”.

On a hill, surrounded by cattle and a valley, a mother remembers. Friends reminisce. Smack dab in the Highland Home Cemetery in Jamestown today, JoAnn Olson came to honor the memory of her daughter Becca.

The teenager died after being ejected from a pickup she was riding in near Mandan. She was not wearing a seat belt.

JoAnn Olson, Becca’s Mother: “Before Becca's accident, never heard or thought of it. Not once did I tell Becca to wear her seat belt. She always did.”

A pot of pansies, well-worn stuffed animals surround the grave of Becca and those high school friends who knew her so well.

Krystal Beck, Becca’s Friend: “Relive her memory in a good way, because she was a fun girl, because we love her.”

Today, a day of pictures of the past. A friend taken from them too soon.

Today marks the second anniversary of Becca's death. Since that tragic day, her mother, her friends have formed a team to urge seat belt use across North Dakota. Becca's mother says if the legislature won't make it the law, she will use her daughter's death to send a message.

Beck: “In 2011, when Becca died, we lost 21 teens. That is a lot.”

Becca's friends and her mother say she was good about wearing her seat belt except this one time, her last time.

Olson: “Never once occurred to me that Becca was a statistic walking out the door that night.”

Few can feel this mother's pain, the loss. But today on this high hill, determination, to keep Becca's spirit and memory alive through saving a life, with one simple click.

Becca's mother hopes to get the message of her organization: "U-R Loved, Belt Me" to all North Dakota schools next year.

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