Family of teens killed in crash say 'buckle up'

- Two Bay Area families are using their tragedy to teach young drivers the importance of buckling their seat belts. 

Debora's son, Brett, and and Nichole Wagner's brother, Josh, were best friends. On Christmas Day in 2011, Brett and Josh, along with another friend, were driving to a store in Manatee County when a driver failed to yield the right of way, hitting Josh's truck.

They flipped and Brett and Josh were ejected. They didn't survive the crash.

A memorial stands near the crash site as a reminder of their lives, and deaths. 

"The place reminds me of the last place that they were here alive," Debora Wagner said. "No one should go through what I went through; every single morning, everyday, every afternoon, every time you see something that belongs to them."

Nichole was very close to her baby brother, who was six years younger. 
"I took him everywhere, fed him, took care of  him," Nichole said. "Closest thing I had to a child because I don't have any children."

Brett and Josh were not wearing seat belts. Their friend survived because he was.

"How important... It takes 3 seconds to put a seat belt on. It can totally change your whole world. So that's what the message is. That's the passion," Nichole explained of their campaign, called B.U.B.B.A.

B.U.B.B.A., or "Buckle Up For B-Swag and Bubba Association," incorporates the nicknames given to Brett and Josh by friends and family. It was started to get everyone to buckle up.

"You protect everything you own, including your feet and your computer, but you are not going to protect your body when you get in one of the most dangerous things that you can drive around in. To me its a no brainier," Debora said. "It should be common sense."

The women have been going to schools teaching students the importance of wearing their seat belts. They hope to make it a national movement. 

"This sticks with me every minute of every day and I will do it until I can't - and I don't know when that is," Debora said.

A fundraiser is planned for Saturday, April 9. For more information, visit the organization's Facebook page

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