Fatal Text Message: See The Photo Of Last Text From Alexander Heit Before Car Accident
The fatal text message read: "Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw."
That's what 22-year-old Alexander Heit, a student from the University of Northern Colorado, was texting when he veered off the road in Greeley, Colo., on April 3, and was killed.
Heit was responding to a text message when his car drifted into oncoming traffic. Witnesses said Heit had his head down when he began to veer into the other lane and that, when he looked up, Heit jerked the steering wheel to avoid a head-on collision, causing the car to roll.
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Emergency responders found Heit's phone in the wreckage, and it was still working. A photo of Heit's iPhone was taken at the scene and published in The Greeley Tribune on Wednesday. The photo shows Heit's truncated text message.
Heit was responding to a text that read: "Hey man I had to run out for like an hour."
The Christian Post reports that Heit's devastated parents hope that by sharing the photo of their son's final and fatal text message, they can highlight the dangers of texting and driving, and hopefully save lives.
Cell phones are responsible for almost one-fourth of all auto collisions each year. It is quickly becoming one of the country's leading causes of death - just behind heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and stroke. More than half of young adult drivers admit to talking on the phone while driving; one-third of them say they've texted while driving.
Five seconds is the minimal amount of time a driver's attention is off the road when he is texting. At 55 mph, five seconds of distraction is equivalent to driving the length of a football field without checking the road, according to textinganddrivingsafety.com.
Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving while intoxicated. It's also like having four beers before getting behind the wheel.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 11 teenagers die every day because of texting while driving. That's 4,015 young people every year, more than five times the average size of a U.S. high school.
There is currently no national law against texting and driving, although 39 states and D.C. have passed legislation banning texting while driving.
You can pledge to drive text-free and join the initiative to curb texting while driving today.
"I can't bear the thought of anyone else having to go through something like this," Heit's mother wrote in a statement released by the Greeley Police Department. "Please, vow to never, NEVER text and drive. In a split second you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you."
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