Racing star launches free driver education program after sons die in car crash :: WRAL.com
Drag racing star Doug Herbert has lived without a parent ever having to go through – he lost both of his sons in a car crash.
Herbert lost his sons in a tragic traffic collision in 2008. Since then, he has made it his mission to ensure that no other family has to endure what he has gone through.
He founded BRAKES – which stands for – Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe. The organization is a non-profit that offers free driver training through its proactive teen driving school.
Students learn about braking response, collision avoidance, and off-road recovery. The program started with just 50 children and now serves thousands.
Instructor Mike Baker has been with the program for almost 5 years. He is also a state soldier with a road patrol.
“But instead of hiding in a corner like a lot of parents would have, Doug stepped forward,” Baker said.
On Sunday, Baker taught about 100 children at BRAKES.
“We see them walk through the door and a lot of them don’t want to be here on a Saturday morning or Sunday morning when we see them come out their facial expressions have changed,” Baker said.
Student Brook LaFrenz, 16, of Pinehurst, said the program was making a difference for her.
“II am so happy to be part of this family and to meet all these different runners, ”she said. It’s a great feeling. “
Another student, Patrick Parker, of Garner, did not even have his bachelor’s degree yet but he knew that this program would be good for his future.
“Now I can go out and practice things with my parents even more in the vehicle,” he said. “I‘ll have this experience before doing it myself
Baker says the national program will continue its mission for as long as it lasts.