NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The father of a 10-year-old girl who was killed in a crash a year ago this week wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
He’s helping to lead a campaign to make school buses safer across the country.READ MORE: New Yorkers Cautiously Optimistic Bennett Will Be Good For Israel; Local Palestinians Not Confident Move Will Benefit Middle East
“It’s going on a year on Friday the 17th. It’s been… feels like yesterday I dropped my baby off to school and never saw her again,” said Joevanny Vargas.
Nearly one year after a horrific crash took his little girl Miranda, Joevanny talked of the pain for a parent that never ends.
“We will not see her eighth grade graduation, her sweet 16, her high school, college graduations, and I’ll not walk her down the aisle,” he said.
Web Extra: Joevanny Vargas news conference
The crash killed Miranda Vargas and Jennifer Williamson-Kennedy, a 51-year-old teacher. The bus driver was 77-year-old Hudy Muldrow.Another Violent Weekend In New York City: 22 Shot, 5 Dead Within 72 Hours
“This could have been avoided. How can you not monitor who drives our precious children to and from school?” Joevanny said.
Congressman Josh Gottheimer is proposing a law that requires seat belts on all school buses, makes three point lap-and-shoulder seat belts the national standard, and encourages innovative measures to ensure students actually wear their seat belts while on school trips.
“My own car starts to ding. Why don’t we have the same alert on school buses if a child is not wearing a seat belt?” Gottheimer said.
Miranda’s Law will also require real-time background checks so if a driver has any recent and serious infraction, the school or bus company would be notified in 25 hours.
Joevanny Vargas vows to get the law passed, even if it’s too late for Miranda.
“Everything is exactly as she left it. Still have her seat at the dining room table. I stare at the sofa and ask myself why,” Joevanny said.MORE NEWS: New York City To Hold July 7 'Hometown Heroes' Ticker Tape Parade For Health Care Workers, First Responders, Essential Workers
Right now, eight states including New York and New Jersey require seat belts.