A group of young people in Cochrane, Alta., are hoping some good can come from the death of a local teen two years ago.

Brandon Thomas, 17, died in December 2012 after his Subaru was hit by a pickup truck on Highway 22.

The truck sideswiped two oncoming vehicles before hitting Thomas' vehicle head-on. He died at the scene.

"After Brandon's accident, it opened a lot of eyes and made a lot of people realize that drinking and driving is not acceptable," said friend Kaitlynn Knight.

"We learned that the hard way. We don't want anyone else to go through that," she said.

Brandon Thomas car

RCMP say Brandon Thomas died at the scene after the Subaru he was driving, seen above, was hit head on by a vehicle driven by Ryan Jordan Gibson. (RCMP)

Knight and friends have taken on a number of initiatives using their grief to fuel the fight to save others from his fate.

They organized a local chapter of Students Against Drinking and Driving (SADD) and are helping with a petition to lobby for stricter sentences for drunk driving-related offences.

So far the petition has roughly 60,000 signatures.

Thomas's mother Kim says their work is helping solidify her son's legacy. 

"He's going to save other people — that he sacrificed his life for others," she said.