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Thank You

Thank you for donating to AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety. Your donation will save lives and prevent injuries.

We want to continue to make a difference and prevent other families from going through what we have. Please share our story with your friends and family by using the social media buttons below to help spread the word.

We would also love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. There you can find more information and share your thoughts, comments, or concerns with us.

Photo of the Karth Family after the funeral, in front of Mary and AnnaLeah's grave.

We really cannot thank you enough!

(signed) The Karth Family
Photo of the rear of a truck from the side, showing the metal bars that form the underride guard at the back of the truck.

Imagine the back of a semi-truck trailer.

It's hard to imagine that a car could fit under there. There are bars, called underride guards, at the back of the truck to stop cars from riding under the truck.

  • The underride guards don't always stop cars from going under the truck.
  • Even at low speeds cars can end up under there!
  • Death of family members is a common result to such crashes.

“It is safer to run into a brick wall than the back of a truck.”

Russ Rader, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
May 5, 2014
Photo of our blue Ford Crown Victoria car, with the rear of the car forced under the back of the truck trailer from the collision. Most of the car is nearly unrecognizable from the damage There is a sheet covering part of the car. There is blood on the sheet.

Our car after the crash

In 2013, our family found that out the hard way. I was traveling with my 3 youngest children when we were struck from behind by a semi-truck. It spun us around and hit us a second time pushing our car under the truck in front of us.

Photo of AnnaLeah and Mary on a seesaw made out of wagon wheels. Mary is wearing a bright pink jacket and AnnaLeah is wearing a purple sweater. They are smiling.
Photo of AnnaLeah and Mary standing next to each other in front of a yellow wall and looking cool. They are both wearing sunglasses. Annaleah is wearing a sparkly pearl-colored swater. Mary is wearing a dark purple sweater.
Photo of AnnaLeah and Mary in front of a giant fake apple. The sun is in their eyes. Mary is standing in front and smiling at the camera. AnnaLeah is wearing a brown coat and leaning against the giant green leaf on top of the apple.

AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) were in the backseat when the rear of the car was pushed under the truck. Both of them died. AnnaLeah wanted to be a writer and Mary wanted to be famous, neither of them got to see their dreams come true.

Lives CAN BE Saved!

Last year our family was successful in collecting and delivering more than 11,000 signatures in a petition to the Department of Transportation to make changes. Progress is being made toward stricter laws, but the industry needs better options.

Research must be done to offer the trucking industry affordable technologies that protect our families on the road.

Our family started AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, to raise funds for truck safety research. We are starting with underride guards because if the underride guard on the truck in front of us had been strong enough to prevent our car from going under it, AnnaLeah and Mary would be here today.

We are hoping to raise $225,000 to fund underride research and traffic safety projects outlined here.

We are working with crash reconstructionist engineer, Aaron Kiefer, who is developing innovative side guard protection for trucks. See his work here.

We Can't Do It Alone
We Need YOUR Help!

  • Donate today to save lives, prevent injuries, and make the roads safer for all families.
  • AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is eligible to receive contributions that may be tax deductible for the donor.
  • Your donation will help fund research that will save lives!
Photo of the Karth Family, from before the crash.

It's too late for AnnaLeah and Mary but, with help from people like you, we will save lives.

(signed) The Karth Family

If you'd like to donate by check, rather than credit card, please make your payments out to:

AnnaLeah and Mary For Truck Safety
1201 Penselwood Drive
Raleigh, NC 27604

Please share and let your friends know!

501(c)3 Status

We are registered with the state of North Carolina as a non-profit organization and have received verification from the IRS for our 501(c)3 status. You will receive a receipt via e-mail for your donations and may be eligible for a tax deduction.

The Underride Guard Round Table, Spring 2016

We are working on putting together a Second Underride Guard Round Table on August 29, 2017 at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.. The Department of Transportation is currently looking at laws related to underride guards and whether or not standards need to be increased to protect people on the roads. The goal of our underride guard round table is to get officials who can make a difference, trucking companies, families of those affected by underride crashes, and truck safety advocates together to discuss underride guards. Our first roundtable on May 5, 2016 was a success. Media reports can be found here.

How is the money going to be used?

We are hoping to raise $225,000. This would allow us to move forward with all of the projects we are currently working on. This includes the following projects: Underride Prevention Research by Aaron Kiefer, Traffic Safety Ombudsman, Nationwide Network of Traffic Safety Community Advocacy Groups, Interactive Personal Crash Stories Online Map, Tired Trucker Roundtable, Truck Certification Program, and a Collegiate Design Competition. A small portion is also likely to be used to cover our operating costs, including but not limited to salary & travel for the Traffic Safety Ombudsman who will coordinate all of these projects, as well as state and federal fees. Link to Budget : Link to Projects

Aaron Kiefer

The work that we have done has actually put us into contact with others working on the underride guards. One such person is Aaron Kiefer who is currently an accident research specialist in North Carolina. He has designed a guard that can be retro fitted onto current truck guards to improve their strength and reduce underride. He has crash tested it successfully and now needs to do further research to refine the design to be ready for the industry. This will include the following expenses: aluminum extrusions for the rear reinforcement attachments ($30,000) and an aluminum side guard slide to allow for truck driver functionality in pre-trip inspections of tires ($20,000); development of a prototype for a system at the trailer front, which will allow the side guard to flare up 20-20 degrees when the air brakes are turned off, and back down when the brakes are turned on ($25,000) – again to aid in pre-trip inspections and changing tires; and crash testing to validate and verify the effectiveness of the TrailerGuard System ($50,000). Total Costs for Side Guard Research & Development = $125,000 – a project and cost which is currently not being taken up by the trucking industry.

Collegiate Student Design Projects

We worked with an Engineering Senior Design Team from Virginia Tech during 2015-16. They had a six student design team who chose to work with the underride guard issue as their senior project. They were very enthusiastic presented their research to the First Underride Roundtable. For 2017-18, we will organize a collegiate design competition in which collaborative, interdisciplinary research teams from various universities will identify the outer limits of effective side underride protection, i.e., ascertain the optimum levels of energy absorption and rigidity both to prevent underride and also to result in survivable (and without life-altering injuries) deceleration forces at the maximum speed possible (at various angles).

Administrative Costs

Many of the early administrative costs were items we simply paid for including registering as a non-profit organization and the initial mailings to our mailing list and trucking companies. However, there are continued costs including registering to collect money in many states and the IRS fees that will take a small portion of the funds that we collect.


One of the biggest challenges to making change is the cost/benefit analysis. On the one side there are lives to be saved and on the other side there are companies working to make money. The trick is to try and meet everyone’s needs. The solution has to be effective in saving lives while still being affordable for companies so that they can make the changes necessary without a lot of struggle.

The Very Real Dangers of Underride

There are between 3,000 and 4,000 deaths each year caused from accidents involving big trucks. It’s hard to know how many of those are actually related to underride because it is often not reported. However, it is estimated that between 50 and 80% of those deaths are caused from underride crashes.

When nothing stops the car from going under the truck, the truck then enters the passenger compartment of the car. There isn’t room for the people in the car. This leads to head trauma and brain injuries that lead to paralyzation, permanent disabilities, and many times death.

More Information About Our Crash

And that brings us to our crash.

In the spring of 2013 we had 4 of our 9 children graduating from university (one associates degree, one bachelor’s degree, and 2 masters degrees) and our oldest daughter was getting married. It had also been awhile since the family was all together and we were going to celebrate AnnaLeah’s 18th birthday and our granddaughter’s 4th birthday. All of the festivities were taking place in Texas and we were driving from North Carolina a week before all the festivities to finish up plans.

The wedding dress I had so lovingly sewn was in the car as well as gifts for the grandchildren we had not seen in eight months. AnnaLeah had hand sewn stuffed animals for her niece and nephew. It was going to be a long drive, but everyone was excited.

It had been raining in Georgia and there had been a fatal accident that officials were cleaning up from. These things had traffic stopped ahead of us. We stopped with a truck in front of us and one in back of us.

A third truck came up behind us on the left hand side and hit us from behind. The car spun around so the rear of our vehicle was facing the rear of the truck in front of us. The truck hit us again which caused our car to go backward under the truck in front of us.

AnnaLeah (just 11 days shy of her 18th birthday) and Mary (13) were in the backseat. AnnaLeah died at the scene and Mary was on life support for 4 days. Both girls suffered from severe head trauma from the their impact with the truck.

Life after the crash was never the same. Instead of it being a time of joy it became a time of mourning. We were blessed by many people, strangers and friends alike. But none of it could change the fact that the girls were gone and we had to figure out how to pick up the pieces of life without them.

Contact Information

AnnaLeah and Mary For Truck Safety
1201 Penselwood Drive
Raleigh, NC 27604

Contact Us

You may contact us at any time at:


AnnaLeah and Mary For Truck Safety

1201 Penselwood Drive

Raleigh, NC 27604

We are registered with the state of North Carolina as a non-profit organization and have received verification from the IRS for our 501(c)3 status. You will receive a receipt via e-mail for your donations and may be eligible for a tax deduction.

Last Updated: September 8, 2015

Privacy Policy

AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety

1201 Penselwood Drive

Raleigh, NC 27604

This privacy policy is for all information collected on (“the site”, “our site”, or “site”) by AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety (“us”, “we”, and “our”). This information pertains to anyone who comes onto our site (“users”) though most data collection occurs voluntarily by filling out portions of the website.

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We collect information about users' interactions with our site by using third party companies that place cookies on a user’s computer. The information collected is only about how the user interacts with our site and never about how they interact with any other site. It also doesn't collect personal information. The user can opt out of this type of data collection by setting up their browser to refuse cookies. This information is collected, stored, and protected by a 3rd party company.

We collect information via forms on this site. That may include donation boxes, mailing list opt in boxes, and comments. This information includes personal information including but not limited to names and email addresses. Depending on where you share your information on our site, your information may or may not be shared with a 3rd party company. If it is shared with a third party company it is collected, stored, and protected.

We collect addresses for tax purposes only. We will never send you junk mail or unsolicited mail of any sort. We will share your information with the IRS as the laws dictate.

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Currently this site works with Google Analytics, Mail Chimp, Mailgun, and Braintree to collect, store, and protect your information.

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Information that is collected on the site is used to improve the site and better user experience, used for completing transactions, or used for contacting you depending on where and how you leave your information. Your credit cards will not be charged by AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety without your knowledge and consent. We will not send unsolicited emails and you will always have the ability to opt out of any email contact. We will also never sell, trade, or give away your information and will do our best to protect your information from other parties.

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We will never attempt to collect information from children under 13. Our site is not designed for children and we ask that they do not use our site.

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We retain the right to update this privacy policy as we see fit and will do so periodically. Users will not be notified, but the date will be updated when it has been changed.

Last Updated: September 8, 2015

Terms of Use

AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety

1201 Penselwood Drive

Raleigh, NC 27604

These are the terms and conditions of use for (from here on out referred to as “the site”,”site”, or “our site”) run by AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety (from here on out referred to as “us”, “we”, and “our”. Please read these terms of use (from here on out referred to as “terms”) carefully. By using our site you are acknowledging that you will abide by the terms and conditions as well as all disclaimers found here in and will from here on out be referred to as “users”.

If you do not agree with these terms of use, please discontinue use of our site.

This site may contain information, stories, and images that are disturbing to some and not recommended for children 13 and younger. If you are sensitive or 13 or younger please do not continue to use our site. Users must be over the age of 13.


We seek to provide accurate information. All information is honest and correct, to the best of our knowledge. It is presented “as is” and we make no guarantees about the accuracy of any information on our site. We are not responsible or liable for any damage or loss caused by any content found on our site.

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We seek to provide information in a way that does no harm to any other person. The language on this site is not meant to offend or harm anyone, but graphic images and stories are included on our site. We apologize for anything that may offend someone. You may contact us at any time and we will respond as soon as possible. However, we can not be held responsible for any offenses that may occur. It should also be noted that our site is written in English and while it may be translated into other languages, we are not responsible for any misunderstanding that may result from translation issues. It is also the reader/user’s responsibility to make sure that the topic of discussion of our site is suitable in your locality. We are not responsible for users having access to information that may not be legal in their location.


All articles, posts, pages, and images presented on our site belong to us or were used legally. They should not be copied in whole or in part. They should not be reproduced, altered, or posted elsewhere without express written permission from the owners of AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety. This includes, but is not limited to, our logo, texts presented on our site, and photos. Sharing of our site via social media is allowed, but entire sections of it may not be copied for use anywhere. Videos are hosted on YouTube and must be shared via YouTube and in accordance with their terms of use.

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There are very few, if any, external links on our site. However we have no control over, and assume no responsibility for any content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party sites that we link to. We are not responsible or liable for any damage or loss caused by the use of any content, goods, or services of any third party sites linked to.

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Last Updated: September 8, 2015