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The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

The Talisman

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Hayes High School students receive Maria’s Message

Dom+Tiberi+talks+to+Hayes+High+School+students.+Tiberi+lost+his+daughter+in+a+car+wreck+and+started+Marias+Message+to+prevent+distracted+driving.
Mia Saksa
Dom Tiberi talks to Hayes High School students. Tiberi lost his daughter in a car wreck and started Maria’s Message to prevent distracted driving.

Dom Tiberi, a local newscaster from the central Ohio region, told Hayes juniors and seniors about his family’s tragic story. In an assembly on Wednesday, October 4, Tiberi shared the tale of his daughter Maria, who died in a car crash a little more than 10 years ago.
Hayes principal Ric Stranges said that he has put off this presentation for 10 years because of how close the Tiberi family is to his own. However, after the wait, Stranges was finally ready to let Tiberi speak to Hayes upperclassmen.
On September 15, 2013, at 2:25 a.m., the Tiberi family received news that would forever alter their lives.
“I want to wake up from this horrible nightmare,” Tiberi said during the assembly. “But I can’t.”
The Tiberi’s family’s door was approached by the police that September night, who informed them of what had occurred to their daughter. Maria had passed away in a car accident while driving back home.
“We go through life thinking it is not going to happen to us,” Tiberi said. “We better be asking why it can’t be happening to us.”
Tiberi said he always thought of people impacted by car accidents as an “other,” but his story isn’t unique. 42,000 people die in the United States due to car wrecks each year. Tiberi said that he wants everyone to know that those statistics have names, family and friends that are impacted by reckless driving.
He asked the students to think about what would happen if they didn’t come home tonight, what their families would do and what their friends would think.
“I don’t know what I would do if that happened to anyone I knew,” junior Kamri Stephenson said. “It is something I don’t even want to think about.”
Tiberi mentioned the hardest thing that he had to do was to go in and identify that it was his daughter who died in the crash.
The thought of someone going through that is something that Tiberi said he does not wish upon anyone.
At the end of the assembly he asked the students to take an optional pledge; this pledge was Maria’s message.
“I pledge to keep my hands on the wheel, keep my eyes on the road, keep my mind on my driving. If I keep my hands, eyes, and mind where they should be, I can keep myself safe and Marias message alive,” Tiberi said.
“I wanted to take the pledge not for me but for my family,” Stephenson said.
Maria’s Message wants students to know that they are loved and their life matters.

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About the Contributor
Mia Saksa, News/Features Section Editor
Mia Saksa (she/her) is a junior at Hayes. This is her first year on staff. Mia is a swimmer on the Hayes High School swim team, and is also a football cheerleader. In her free time she enjoys being involved in the community and spending time with her family and friends.
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