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Wreck that injured Flowery Branch teens mother leads student to organize road safety event
1021RALLY-Rhea Chawla
Rhea Chawla

Rally for Road Safety

When: 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: The Oaks at Lanier Charter Career Academy, 2719 Tumbling Creek Road, Gainesville

The Rally for Road Safety at Lanier Charter Career Academy this Saturday has a direct link to a traffic accident in March.

Rhea Chawla, a Flowery Branch High School junior and event organizer, wants teens to “understand the impact distracted driving has on families.” That impact is personal to her since her mother, Leena, was injured in a wreck when a teen driver “T-boned” her car.

The car flipped twice. “The airbag and seat belt saved her life,” Chawla said Thursday. Her mother still is in physical therapy and has pain, she said, but she is expected to recover.

The wreck led Chawla to apply to be a State Farm road safety ambassador, and she is one of 10 in the U.S. She had a week’s training in Washington.

At the event Saturday, Chawla said, there will be “several games that promote safety” and goggles that imitate driving while impaired. It starts at 9 a.m.

The games will teach drivers “how you’re trying to drive but your eyes are away from the road.”

Alan Brown, founder of the Joshua Brown Foundation, also will attend and speak to groups during the day.

Chawla said she “takes school very seriously” and her grades reflect that. She wants to attend Savannah College of Art and Design for fashion design and graphics design.

She is a Work-Based Learning student and attends the Design 360 personalized promotion lab at Lanier Charter Career Academy. She said she has attended for three years.

Chawla also is a Master 4-H’er and won first place in the district and state competitions for Project Achievement. She designed and modeled a garment for the competitions.

Kim Guy, workforce development coordinator at LCCA, pointed out that Chawla also has won a leadership award at the school for the past two years.

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