Ending distracted driving through Maria's Ride

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Early Sunday morning, Dom Tiberi stood in the parking lot of Dublin Coffman, the high school his daughter Maria once attended.

"It's going to be 5 years that we lost Maria tomorrow, and I can tell ya that it feels like it was 5 seconds ago," he said in an emotional speech in front of dozens of drivers who participated in the first Maria's Ride, a caravan fundraiser in honor of Maria's Message.

Since Maria's death, the Maria Tiberi Foundation has offered safe driving days, which provide young drivers with safe driving skills.

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Maria's Ride is the latest expansion of the organization which will raise funds for a simulator school. It would be the first of its kind in the country.

Josh and Christina Ross rode in the ride with the MidOhio Jeepers Organization.

"When I learned about his daughter dying in the crash, just felt really sorry for him," Josh said. "So, I just felt compelled to get my Jeep group together and we brought several jeeps together."

Christina says she supports Maria's Message and the need for more distracted driving training for young drivers.

"Especially since I have children," she said. "I grew up in the age you didn’t have it [social media]. So, you don’t have to take your phone call until you get to your destination. Where with them, it’s just like every beep you’ve gotta check. And it’s like no... get to your destination."

One-hundred and nine cars participated in Maria's Ride. All of the proceeds will go toward The Maria Tiberi Foundation.

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