Mother Of Accident Victim Lobbies For Radar Use - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/20/04

Mother Of Accident Victim Lobbies For Radar Use

Friends and family say Michael Baugh enjoyed life and loved America. The high school senior was looking forward to serving his country in the United States Navy.

But his dreams and desires came to a dramatic end in a high speed, fatal accident on Old Spanish Trail.

Now Michael's mother is determined to share a serious message with anyone who'll listen. She's urging teenage drivers to slow down. She's also lobbying lawmakers to allow sheriffs in Mississippi to use radar.

A cell phone call from a friend delivered the dreadful news to Angy Baugh. Her 17 year old son was dead.

"And so we went down to the accident. And as soon as the policeman told me that Michael was gone, I just remember my legs gave out. I didn't faint, my legs just gave out. Then we went down to the morgue," recalled Angy Baugh Campbell.

Michael lost his life on Old Spanish Trail just west of Highway 57. Excessive speed was the main cause. A friend who was in the car says Michael may have been traveling up to 100 miles an hour when he lost control and flipped the Honda Accord.

"They're still speeding. They're still driving too fast. They think they're invincible. They think they're Superman, the man of steel. They're not. Michael's gone. And I can't let any other parent go through what I've gone through," said Michael's mom.

Shocked upon learning that sheriffs can't use radar to slow down drivers, Angy Baugh Campbell is determined to change that.

"It's because I lost my son. Because he was driving too fast. And if there was radar out there, he might have a big fat ticket, instead of a box of ashes," she said.

Year after year, some sheriffs in Mississippi lobby state lawmakers for legislation authorizing sheriffs departments to use radar and year after year that request is denied for various reasons. Now, Angy Campbell is hoping a mother's plea just might make a difference.

"They'll see me. 'Cause I'm going to wear my Michael shirt. And they'll know who I am. And we're going to get that radar for Mike Byrd if it's the last thing I do," she said.

Michael's mother is starting a petition drive to lobby for the sheriff's radar.

By Steve Phillips

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