After Fatal Crash, Delta High Senior Gives Presentation On Dangers Of Distracted Driving

Oct 16, 2019, 10:08 PM | Updated: 10:29 pm

DELTA, Utah — After months of planning on exactly what he was going to say to his Delta High School classmates, Jace Thomas knew he should just start at the beginning.

“I’m just going to share my story with you guys,” he said while on stage during a special assembly in the school’s auditorium Wednesday morning. “We’re just going to get right into it here.”

His story involves distracted driving and the bicyclist he hit and killed.

“The crash happened on June 18, 2018,” he said to a silent crowd. “I got out and I ran over and I could tell that he was gone.”

Not a single student in the auditorium was distracted from what Thomas was saying and some had tears in their eyes.

“I don’t want any of this happening to you guys,” Thomas said while showing pictures of the crash scene.

Thomas, a senior at Delta High, wasn’t just speaking to his classmates during the assembly.

The person still living with the pain of what happened was also in the crowd, because she was there that day.

Beth Allen was riding bicycles with her 72-year-old husband, Craig Blouin, along Highway 50 near Delta on that June 2018 day.

She wasn’t injured in the crash — at least, not on the outside.

“I think the first year had been about survival and proving to myself somehow that I could survive this tragedy and move on with my life,” Allen said during an interview after the presentation. “It has been a year that I never could have planned or known how I would handle it.”

No one would blame her if she wanted jail time for Thomas.

Instead, she wanted something more.

“Definitely, I had people telling me you need to get a lawyer, something needs to happen. And I’m like, well, what’s that going to do? For me? For the family? For anybody? It didn’t make sense to me,” she said.

So she helped advocate that, as part of Thomas’s community service, he speak to students about what he learned.

Even though he wasn’t driving distracted by using his cell phone, Thomas admitted he was distracted by looking out his side window and not at the road.

When he turned his head to look straight at the road, it was already too late.

“Things can happen so fast. I just remember getting out of the car and telling her how sorry I was,” Thomas said.

To Allen, having Thomas speak about his experience is a lesson more valuable than a jail cell.

“I feel like if he reached one person, that it makes a difference,” Allen said. “If he got through to one person who may be guilty of some of the many distractions while driving, that will help.”

Allen’s son, Nate Blouin, was also at the presentation.

They’re quick to point out they weren’t there to critique Thomas for his presentation.

They just wanted to offer their support.

“There has been a lot of talk about forgiveness,” Blouin said. “I don’t know if that’s the right word because I think, what this scenario is, is understanding that we all deal with and understand. I mean, driving down here last night, I probably glanced off at the gorgeous moon four times, you know? And so, I think more understanding and realizing that I’m guilty of some things he is.”

It’s a sort of kind and caring manner not often seen.

“Your life can literally change in one second,” said Thomas at the end of his presentation.

Afterward, Thomas, Allen and Blouin met in the auditorium.

He had met them before, but he wasn’t expecting them to be so positive with his presentation.

“Very good job. Really. I mean that sincerely,” Allen said while hugging Thomas.

Jace Thomas and Beth Allen embrace after Thomas’ presentation at Delta High School.

“Thank you,” said Thomas to her.

For everyone involved, it’s about healing and understanding we all make mistakes.

“There’s no way I can thank her enough. There’s no possible way I can do that,” Thomas said.

It’s a lesson we all can learn from.

“I’m normally a pretty happy person and I have got a lot to be happy about,” Allen said. “It’s a beautiful world that we live in.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Elder Mack Jared Chappell, a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints died Sa...

Mark Jones

Church missionary dies from unknown medical condition

A missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has died, according to the church.

31 minutes ago

The family of a teenager who died following a crash in Lehi last Saturday said his legacy is living...

Brianna Chavez

Family of 17-year-old who died after Lehi motorcycle crash say he saved lives by donating organs

The family of a teenager who died following a crash in Lehi last Saturday said his legacy is living on after his organs were donated to several people.

2 hours ago

Salt Lake City police say two people have died in a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon. (Salt Lake...

Mark Jones

Two people dead in a workplace shooting, Salt Lake City police say

Salt Lake City police said two people have died in a workplace shooting Sunday afternoon.

3 hours ago


Mark Jones

A Code Blue alert issued in Salt Lake County for Sunday night

A Code Blue alert has been issued for Salt Lake County for Sunday night as temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s.

4 hours ago

Singer and Actress Kristin Chenoweth, right, and Mary-Mitchell Campbell perform during RootsTech at...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

RootsTech: A ‘wicked’ Broadway finale, plus message from late church Apostle M. Russell Ballard

On the final day of the RootsTech 2024 conference, attendees braved a windstorm to listen to Broadway actor Kristin Chenoweth speak about faith, family and her experience as an adopted child.

6 hours ago

Show in Smithfield...

Mary Culbertson

Winter storm alert still active for central and northern Utah, caution advised

Utah saw the forces of dangerous winds on Saturday, but meteorologists say the caution should continue into Sunday.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

After Fatal Crash, Delta High Senior Gives Presentation On Dangers Of Distracted Driving