CHP's Start Smart program teaches new drivers about the dangers of driving recklessly

Program targets teen drivers before it's too late

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - "We were hit head-on at 95 mph by a 17-year-old drunk driver and it killed my wife."

This is the story Michael Benge shares around Kern County hoping his story will prevent teen drivers from making the same deadly mistake.

23ABC spoke with the self-proclaimed DUI Warrior about why he continues to tell his heartbreaking story nearly a decade after his wife, Jada, died.

"It seems that when you make it personal that some of them get it, you can see the little light bulb go over their head and they go 'ah I get it'", Benge explained.

In 2004 the Benge family was headed home from a memorial day camping trip when they were hit head-on by a teen drunk driver, Killing Jada Benge a mother of three.

Benge is one of Tuesday night's Start Smart speakers who is hoping by sharing his story more people will think twice before getting behind the wheel impaired.

Tuesday nights Start Smart event is at 6pm at Bakersfield's 420 Club located at 3910 Alfred Harrell Hwy.

It's free and everyone is encouraged to come.

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