AAA, local police raise awareness about teen driving amid '100 d - WFSB 3 Connecticut

AAA, local police raise awareness about teen driving amid '100 deadliest days'

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Vincent Cammarata, 17, was killed in a crash in Plymouth last July that involved eight teens. (WFSB file) Vincent Cammarata, 17, was killed in a crash in Plymouth last July that involved eight teens. (WFSB file)

AAA launched an annual campaign on teen driver safety this week.

The auto club called the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day the "100 deadliest days."

It said the average number of deaths from crashes involving teens goes up 14 percent when compared to the rest of the year.

Wednesday, the Plymouth Police Department joined other officers, traffic safety authorities, and AAA to raise awareness.

For the first time, Plymouth police also discussed the deadly crash from last summer that involved eight teens in one car.

Vincent Cammarata, 17, of Watertown, was killed when the vehicle he was in crashed at the intersection of Town Hill and Cross roads in Plymouth in late July.

Cammarata had just graduated from high school.

"I show up first, there was a couple kids out in a grassy area, bleeding and screaming for help," said Officer Christopher Brody of the Plymouth Police Department. 

The job followed Brody home. 

"My day ended late and I finally got home and my son was wearing the same clothes as that passenger," said Brody. 

Brody was one of the traffic safety advocates that spoke to AAA's 100 deadliest days of summer campaign. 

AAA said 10 people a day are killed in teen-driving-involved crashes during the 100 days.

In Connecticut, more than 40 people were killed over the last five years in those crashes, 12 just last summer.

It found that speed and nighttime are significant factors.

There's been a 22 percent increase in deadly teen-driver-involved crashes at night.

“The number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers during the summer months is a significant concern for AAA and our traffic safety partners across the state,” said Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in greater Hartford. “The victims of these crashes is often someone other than the teen driver so this is a time period where everyone is at increased risk."

Donna Jenner lost her only two children, Anthony and Jessica Apruzzese when they got into a crash in October 2007. 

"He was just a natural athlete and Jessica was a dancer and a cheerleader," said Jenner, Mourning Parents Act President. 

Anthony was driving his sister home ad they were told school was canceled due to water issues and picked up Jessica's friend, Thamara Correa for breakfast. 

All three died when Anthony's car clipped the back of a boat being towed and crossed into the other line, hitting a truck head-on. 

It was soon after that crash that the graduated license laws took effect in Connecticut. 

"The first year a teen has a drivers license, you can't have anybody in the car with you. You can't be out later than 11 p.m.," said Michael Bzdyra, Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner. 

AAA and police are imploring all drivers to wear a seat belt, follow the rules of the road, and be vigilant as more young drivers hit the roadway. 

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