Justin Cabezas' Story


I love speed. I've always loved speed. But one day, my fascination with going fast killed two innocent people and changed my life forever.

On that day, I had chosen to street race down a very busy street. I wasn't thinking about hurting anyone—that's the last thing I would ever have wanted to do. But before I knew it, my car crashed into a minivan, and everything in my life changed forever.

I don't remember much of that day. But that doesn't matter because everything that had unfolded in my life before the crash was shattered. It didn't matter that my grades were good or that I was a decent guy. It didn't matter that I was from a good, loving family. Nothing mattered. My identity was completely changed. I was now someone who had killed.

For months, all I wanted to do was apologize to the man whose wife and daughter had died in that crash. But I couldn't. So, when the opportunity came to meet this man, Bruce Murakami, I was both relieved and incredibly anxious.

I met Bruce alone in a little room. There, we sat for a while without saying anything to each other. I was afraid to speak first, thinking that maybe he wanted to say to something to me. And when I heard his words, I broke down. Crying, I told him how sorry I was.

At that point, I was fully expecting to face the judge and my sentence of up to 30 years. But a miracle occurred. I soon learned that Bruce wanted something different for me. He wanted to spare me the horrors of jail and instead have me work with other young drivers, so that they don't make the same mistake I made. We worked out a plea deal that involved house arrest and community service, and before I knew it, I was working with Bruce and Safe Teen Driver.