Mother of teens killed by distracted officer behind the wheel speaks out

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LEAWOOD, Kan. -- A woman will speak about distracted driving to Leawood police on Wednesday morning.

Kim Schlau is the mother of two teenage girls who were killed by an Illinois State Trooper in a 2007 crash.

The trooper was traveling 126 miles per hour while at the same time operating his computer and personal cell phone when he struck the two teens with his vehicle, and one other car.

Schlau's daughters, Kelli, 18 and Jessica, 13, were on their way back from visiting their father and step mother, when the officer struck their vehicle, killing them instantly and damaging the car beyond recognition. When speaking publicly Schlau shows a photograph of the car her daughters were in.

"Just a really powerful silence goes over the crowd when they see that because that was the car that my daughters were in," she said. "It’s just very hard for them to see."

For the driver responsible for her daughters' deaths, it was his eighth wreck in six year. Schlau has made it her life goal to bring awareness to the prevention of distracted driving, which has become an increasing concern for both civilians and law enforcement across the country.

"The feedback that we've gotten has been great," she said. "A lot of the officers actually will come up and tell me 'that could have been me and I’m glad that it wasn't.' And that’s the message we are trying to impart is that it just takes one time to ruin your own life or the lives of someone else."

Schlau will speak to police at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday morning.

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