Fatal Text Message Used by Dead Driver's Family as a Reminder

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 02:05 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Colorado family grieving the loss of their son has released a photo of the fatal text message he was typing out before he lost control of his car and died in a single-car accident last week.

"Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw," reads the partially composed message on 22-year-old Alexander Heit's cell phone.

Police say Heit, a student at the University of Northern Colorado, was texting and driving April 3 when he started drifting into the oncoming lane on a road on the outskirts of Greeley. He swerved to avoid another car but instead ran off the road, flipping and rolling his car. Heit was taken to North Colorado Medical Center where he later died.

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Now, the Heits are speaking out about texting and driving in hopes that others won't make the same mistake.

"I can't bear the thought of anyone else having to go through something like this," Sharon Heit, Alexander's mother, wrote in a statement. "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."

Texting while driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving, an international study found last month. The results, published in the Traffic Injury Prevention journal, found that road skills decrease equally whether a driver is drinking or using a cell phone while driving.

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"Unfortunately, when we think to ourselves, 'I'll just do it this one time,' we are fooling ourselves," Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner said in a statement. "This 'one time' may be the only time. The Heits are sharing their tragedy and loss, in hope that through Alex's story, others may realize and recognize just how dangerous texting and driving is. If this tragic, senseless accident can be a learning experience for others, perhaps others will be saved."

Related stories:

US Drivers Phone, Text More than Europeans

Texts, Phones Kill 16,000: Study

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