Amarillo, Texas - An Amarillo mom is speaking out, nearly one year to the day after her daughter was killed in a horrific crash during her lunch break at Caprock High School.
She's hoping others can learn from her family's personal nightmare.
Melissa Guzman believes her message is so important she was willing to re-live all the painful memories surrounding her daughter's death to get the word out there. In fact, she's the one who called us, asking to do the story.
Like many other moms, Melissa Guzman does mundane chores like washing the dishes, except for this past year, she's had one less dish to clean, the one her 16-year-old daughter Rayna used to use at dinner.
"I miss everything about her. I miss her smile. I miss her jokes." Rayna died December 17th 2010, when the car she was riding in slammed into the back of a truck at 45th and Coulter. Police say excessive speed was definitely a factor.
Guzman says, "My daughter was the kind of person if there was ever a bad situation, she's try to turn into a learning experience or a positive situation, and that's what I'm trying to do."
She's doing it by sending this message, especially to teenagers, eager to get a break from school when it lets out for Christmas vacation later this week.
"Drive safely, we have to think about the passengers. We have a speed limit for a reason. Don't race. Think about the other people in the car. About their lives, because you are responsible for their lives. If I could save a life right now, just by this message, that's what I want to do."
Knowing she could play a role in preventing another family from going through this kind of tragedy is what's helping her deal with the hole this crash left in her heart.
"Lets just rejoice she's with God in heaven. He took her for a reason and I don't question him. I just have to make something positive out of this."
The driver, who was Rayna's friend, was charged with negligent homicide.
One of the other passengers had back and neck injuries.