Our Speakers: We Do Not Want This to Happen to Someone You Love
Candy Priano connects with teens and welcomes the opportunity to team up with local police officers and/or EMTs to present a comprehensive story. Pictured here, she and her daughter, Kristie, take a break during one of their ice-skating excursions in San Francisco. The two traveled to many California cities, many times with “the boys” of the family. A couple of years after this Bay Area trip, Mark and Candy, their son Steven, and daughter Kristie were in the family minivan on the way to Kristie’s basketball game. At the same time, events were unfolding that would change the family forever. The mother of an unlicensed teenager called the police, complaining that her daughter had taken the family car without permission. Minutes later, the teen was fleeing from the police through a series of residential streets. She crashed into the Priano family’s van, directly where Kristie sat beside her brother. Candy and Mark’s fifteen-year-old daughter died from a massive closed-head injury, joining one of the hundreds of innocent bystanders who die each year across the nation as a result of police-pursuit crashes. Today, Candy’s commitment as a public speaker and an advocate for innocent bystanders opens up opportunities to work with others and prevent this tragedy from happening to others.
Esther Seoanes and her husband James “Awesome” Williford shine their smiles at the camera on their wedding day. They shared a life of traveling, James playing guitar with his band, getting together with friends, and with a mutual love that transcended to helping others in their careers as well as their private life. They worked in the medical field, Esther as a critical-care nurse and James as the supply chain manager for Seton Healthcare Family. Esther shares her story how, in the middle of the night, if James received a call, he would respond and help, always thinking of the patient in need. In fact, on the day that ended his life, James was traveling to help a friend dying of cancer. His life ended with a shoplifter who took a parked car with the keys sitting in plain sight. Soon, Mall security called the police, and the pursuit began in Austin, TX. The driver crashed into James’ truck, killing him instantly.
Esther’s teen presentation addresses that, while this driver was in his twenties, perhaps had he heard a PULL OVER presentation, this chase may never have happened. She also discusses, with discretion, the car-crash patients she cares for in the hospital emergency room. Officers comment about how poised and articulate Esther is in her outreach.
PursuitSAFETY’s team members share the other side of the windshield with teens and officers. Having had a loved one die, they look at the dangers of these chases. Together, we have spent countless hours consulting with law enforcement officers throughout the country to understand their perspective on pursuit and to provide our point of view on behalf of innocent victims killed as a result of pursuit crashes.
● We inform teenagers and their parents that the #1 reason teens, not involved in a crime, flee traffic stops is “fear of parents.” Most often, teens flee out of fear of getting into trouble with their parents and being restricted from driving if they were to come home with a ticket.
● We illustrate how to appropriately act when pulled over by law enforcement, by explaining the ten things they need to know when stopped by the police.
● Our speakers discuss with teens the reasons they might flee from police. We explain why none of those reasons are worth risking their lives or the lives of innocent bystanders and law enforcement officers.
● We not only connect with teens but we will also partake in the same training programs as your agency’s speakers. We welcome being a part of your train-the-trainer program—whether it be local police, state or federal law enforcement, or EMTs—to present a comprehensive presentation.
We need PULL OVER: Have no regrets as standard curriculum in all driver-training classes for teens.