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Katy Student Ejected from Car Supports ‘Buckle Up’ Signs Now at All Katy ISD Schools


June 6, 2022

By Natalie Cook Clark

Every Katy ISD school now has “Buckle Up, Someone Loves You” signs clearly visible. Katy families can be reminded of how a simple action can save lives; a fact emphasized by a Tompkins graduate who was ejected from his car.

All Katy ISD Schools have 'Buckle Up' Signs

“Buckle Up. Someone Loves You” signs are now installed at every Katy ISD school. Earlier this year they were added to the high schools, but now elementary and junior high campuses have them as well.

100 Deadliest Days of Summer

The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are considered the 100 deadliest days of summer. State Farm’s Chris Mallett, Khalid Alrashed and Matt Schomburg have partnered with the Kailee Mills Foundation to add these potentially life-saving road signs to the remainder of the Katy schools.

The Kailee Mills Foundation is an organization created following the fatal accident of high school student, Kailiee Mills. In October of 2017, Mills unbuckled herself in the back seat of a moving vehicle to take a selfie. Second later she was ejected from the vehicle and instantly killed.

Tompkins Student Ejected from Vehicle Supports Efforts

On December 26, 2020, Tompkins High School student and football player Samuel “Sam” Mills was ejectedfrom his vehicle during an accident. Like Kailee, he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Sam was fortunate to survive and uses his experience to educate other teenagers.

“I’m glad to see these signs and that Katy ISD allowed them and followed through,” says Sam Mills.

Sam has worked with the foundation and spoken to tell his story and emphasize that it only takes a couple of seconds to fasten your seat belt, seconds that can change your life and the lives of those who love you.

Sam Mills spoke on the importance of seat belt safety in January. Photo courtesy of Carrie Mills

Sam Mills graduated from Tompkins High School in 2021. He is studying psychology at Dallas Baptist University and his family is thankful for the help of the foundation.

“We had never heard or seen this Foundation before this time. David Mills the founder and the dad who lost his daughter in a car accident came to visit us where we were staying close to Sam in downtown Houston,” says Carrie Mills, Sam’s mom. “It was an honor to meet him and hear about his work. He came to sympathize with us and show us emotional support, which was more than we could ever ask for.”

Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle be properly secured. As car accidents remain the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people ages 1-54, these signs to buckle up while leaving a Katy ISD school remind drivers that their families want them home safely.

“Through Kailee and Sam’s story, we can save lives,” says Ted Vierling, Katy ISD Chief Operations Officer. “The signs serve as a reminder to buckle up on every trip, no matter how far you’re going or how short your trip might be.”


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