The lurking danger of driving while texting
Posted: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 10:08 am
BY SCOTT MCDONALD, Examiner publisher
Alex Brown was a young, pretty, West Texas teenage girl with a rich life ahead of her. A quick sequence of events led to her lying in a field - dying.
The 17-year-old's death just over a year ago led to a crusade by her parents to encourage students to buckle up and stop texting.
Jeanne and Johnny Mac Brown travel to high schools around Texas to spread the message, and Tuesday they stopped for an assembly at Navasota High School.
Alex Brown was a senior at Seagraves High School, which is about an hour and a half southwest of Lubbock. Brown was ranked second in her class, but her college credits would have moved her to valedictorian by the end of the year and she would have had enough credits to be a sophomore in college the day she graduated high school.
"She was a good kid," Jeanne told the students at Navasota. "She loved people, no matter who they were or what they were. Everybody loved her."
On Nov. 10, 2009, Alex was running late for one of her college classes because she spent too much time on Facebook that morning, Jeanne said. That led to Alex scrambling so she wouldn't be TOO late for class. She took the more dangerous route to school - the route her parents always discouraged her to take.
Alex didn't buckle her seat belt. And then, while simultaneously carrying on text message conversations with four different friends, her pick-up truck spun out of control and crashed. Alex was thrown from her vehicle into a field. She just laid there, fading into consciousness and back out again, quickly leaving this world.
The state trooper who investigated that accident said that Alex was driving 70 miles per hour before she spun.
Like most parents, I harped on this and similar subjects until my face was blue. I told my son, again and again and again ad nauseam, "Never get your pride into a fight with the laws of physics. Physics 'gonna win every time!"
In my copious free time, I cursed the studpidity of children in general and mine in particular, and managed (more by good luck than by good parenting) to get him past his teenage years without any auto accidents. In other words, I became my father. C'est la vie.
Bill Horne Moderator