Family of Louisville teen killed in high-speed crash hopes new law will prevent tragedies
Nearly five years after Denzel Steward's life was cut short, the governor has signed a bill to prevent similar tragedies.
Wednesday, June 11th 2014, 11:25 am EDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The family of a Louisville teen killed in a high-speed crash after receiving a speeding ticket has fought long and hard for a new law.
Nearly five years after Denzel Steward's life was cut short, Gov. Steve Beshear has signed a bill to prevent similar tragedies.
Orson Steward lights up as he talks about his son.
"He had the most infectious beautiful smile you could ever see on a boy," he said.
Denzel Steward was a star football player and soon-to-be-senior at Jeffersontown High School.
"Even though it's been five years, it's still hard," said Shawn Steward, Denzel's mom.
Denzel Steward died in a car crash, one month after he got a speeding ticket: a ticket he hid from his parents.
"After the accident, we were cleaning out my house," Shawn Steward said. "He had a speeding ticket in a box -- a shoebox in the closet."
"He was doing 100 miles an hour in a 55 mph. zone on Bardstown Road, and we were just awestruck that we didn't know anything about it," said Orson Steward.
Denzel's parents say if they knew about the ticket, he never would have been driving the night he died.
"Obviously nothing I can do is ever going to replace or fill the void of losing a child," Orson Steward said.
But a bill named after their son helps ease the pain.
"This family wanted this tragedy to be something that could be put to good use in terms of educating people, making people aware and hopefully saving lives down the road," said Reginald Meeks, a Kentucky House Representative.
The Denzel Steward Act requires the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to forward any traffic tickets received by a minor to their parents.
"I don't want any parent to go through this," said Shawn Steward. "It takes a toll on you, it really does. I mean, every day I think about it."
"Maybe we can prevent some other kids from having to endure what we went through," Orson Steward said.
Almost five years after his death, putting pen to paper for this bill could not come at a better time.
"That is probably the thing I miss the most about him, is just his beautiful beautiful, bright smile," said Orson Steward.
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