Furinos Honored by Safety Council

Thomas and Barbara Furino of Edgartown have won the 2008 President’s Award from the Central Massachusetts Safety Council for their efforts to promote safe driving by teenagers.

Their son, David Furino, 17, was killed in an automobile accident at Katama with fellow student Kevin Johnson on May 7, 2004. The Furinos subsequently created a nonprofit organization, Martha’s Vineyard Drive for Life.

Loss of a Son Leads to Cause for Education

It has been five years since the accident. On Friday, May 8, 2004, Tom and Barbara Furino’s son David and his friend Kevin Johnson were killed in a late-night automobile accident at Katama. David was 17; Kevin was 16.

The Furinos said this week they are still grieving. But their work to bring back, strengthen and upgrade the regional high school driver’s education program has been a positive outlet for them.

Indeed, it has been a mission driven by a furious passion to safeguard student drivers, now and well into the future.

Students Well-Schooled in Driver’s Ed

The class is optional. And yet 162 students signed up to take driver’s education at the high school this year, seizing the opportunity to learn the basics of driving at school, at no cost.

This is exactly what Tom and Barbara Furino hoped for.

The high school driver’s education program is part of their quest for teenagers to have the chance to take driver’s education in school. Their passion is rooted in a personal tragedy: in May 2004, their son David, 17, and his friend Kevin Johnson, 16, were killed in a car crash in Katama.