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NO texting while driving for me…anymore!

by Deborah Cruz

Tonight, I settled into my  Sunday evening quiet by turning on the television and mindlessly flipping the dial. I stopped on Extreme Makeover. I NEVER stop on Extreme Makeover, mostly because at some point in the show I will end up crying. Sunday’s are usually bad for me anyway so I figure why add fuel to the fire. But tonight, something was different…Extreme Makeover was calling to me.

Photo courtesy of Google image

The show tonight was about the Brown family. The day was like any other day. Alex Brown’s father, Johnny Mack, gave her a kiss on the forehead before he left for work and told her to be good, something I’ve seen the Big Guy do a million times with our own girls.  Something, most of us do an a daily basis. We take a deep breath, kiss those little loves of our lives Goodbye for now and go out into the world or send them out into the world. Only that day, in November of 2009, was not like any other day, it would turn out to be the worst day of the Brown family’s life. That was the day that Jeanne and Johnny Mack Brown lost their daughter, Alex, a senior in high school, got into a 18-wheeler accident.

Katrina, her sister, lost her big sister and mentor in life. While driving to school, Alex was texting, she was distracted, lost control of her vehicle and rolled her pick up truck according to what the truck accident attorney mentioned.

This beautiful promising life, about to go off to college and make a difference in the world, was crudely ejected from the vehicle through the windshield, only to have her truck roll on top of her, crushing her and ultimately causing injuries that proved fatal. People who have miraculously survived tragic accidents like this but are unfortunately and severely disabled can seek the legal assistance of social security attorneys in order to have the compensation that they need especially for the medical expenses.

I can not even imagine the pain and loss Jeanne and Johnny Mack Brown feel on a daily basis. To honor her memory, they spend all their free time traveling to area high schools showing Alex’s rolled truck to other students to demonstrate the possible dangers of texting while driving, spreading the message as far as their funds and abilities will let them.

They have made it their life’s mission to stop other families from suffering such a great loss by giving advice to other with the help of indianapolis truck accident lawyer.

Now, I’m not going to lie..I am a drive and text sort of person. ( Well, I was… up until tonight). I know it’s wrong. I know it’s dangerous and could lead to car accidents. Yet, I find myself doing it constantly. But tonight, when I watched this episode, it hit me…what if I were texting and my girls were in the car ( as they usually are)? I could wreck and kill them. KILL THEM! Let that sink in for a moment. Obviously, I don’t want to die but I can’t live with the possibility of putting my littles in danger. Not to mention what a horrible example I am setting for them. Let’s say for a minute that I am the exception and I’m lucky enough to avoid any disasters but one day, in the not so distant future, Bella or Gabs could get into a vehicle and mimic just what they’ve seen their Mommy doing…texting while driving.  God forbid they get into an accident themselves and, or worse still, die. So, tonight, I went to the Remember Alex Brown website and I signed the pledge. I know this sounds hokey and out of character for me. I know I am snarktastic and have mocked Oprah for her pledge against this very thing. But I am big enough to admit when I have been wrong. It just took me a bit to see the error of my ways. I’ve decided that I  refuse to put my children in that kind of danger, my family through that kind of pain or have any part in perpetuating this behavior in my children’s lives. I signed the pledge and I WILL NOT text while driving…ever again. I also what you to learn this here now that you can still file a claim on an accident that you were partially at fault in. I hope that you will take this pledge with me. I don’t really care if you electronically sign a pledge to a foundation, but I ‘d like you all to commit to not texting while driving. Think of yourself..think of your children! The life you may be saving by NOT texting while driving…may be the one that you helped to bring into this world.

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Galit Breen 2011/01/31 - 7:33 am

This is *such* an important post! I’m proud of your honesty and that you’re taking the time to share this because you’re right: t-w-d is SCARY!! Good for you for making a decision and making a public stance!

Elizabeth Flora Ross 2011/01/31 - 8:43 am

I seriously have never understood how people can text and drive. And I don’t mean that in a judgmental, it’s dangerous how could they kind of way. I mean I don’t see how it is physically possible! I can’t. Even if I wanted to. Which I don’t. Because it IS dangerous. If I see someone on the road who is obviously texting, I stay as far away from them as possible.

I’m glad you have made this decision. It is certainly not the kind of lesson you want to have to learn the hard way.You and your precious cargo need to be safe!

dacruzbe 2011/01/31 - 9:15 am

Thanks Elizabeth.I don’t know why it didn’t register before. I think I never thought of it in terms of having a further ripple effect than myself. When I saw what it did to these parents and thought of it in terms of my own girls..either left Mommiless or my example causing them to do this…it snapped..WTF are you doing, Debi? So, NO more..not ever. I told my husband he’s not allowed to either. I guess I owe Oprah an apology for all those times I mocked her!Happy MOnday!

Jenni Chiu 2011/01/31 - 10:48 am

Just say no to drexting!
It’s hard not to check my phone during stoplights… but the light eventually changes before I’m done, and the temptation to do it for “just a second” is there.
A second is all it takes, I suppose.
An important reminder.

Jonathan Villanueva 2011/02/04 - 4:12 pm

im doing a project on txting and driving for my class and i like your stuff and ya an is there any other way to contact you likeyour own personal page were i can write to you so i kan do good

Joann 2011/03/29 - 5:07 pm

I want to let someone from the Alex Brown Foundation know that I am in the process of spreading the word on No Texting While Driving in the State of Connecticut, specifically Stamford and Greenwich. I just lost my nephew because he was speeding so I decided to incorporate it into “Speeding and Texting Kills”. My nephew, Joseph R. Schiano was a Marine and served his Country for 4 years. He was deployed to Afghanistan twice and finished his tour of duty to return home on January. On March 20, 2011 on a beautiful Sunday afternoon he was returning from a friends house and lost control of his car and hit a utility pole. Joseph was killed instantly because of the excessive speed he was traveling.

When I watched Extreme Home Makeovers a while ago, I saw the story of Alex Brown and it inspired me. I am a mother of 4 and things are just so hectic so I have not had the time to start my mission. Now that this tragic accident happened I am full steam ahead. I want the State of Connecticut lite up in the map of the United States that was shown on that episode.

I would love to hear from someone to give me some more ideas. I have ordered the thumb bands in the 5 High School colors and want your input.

Thank you.

Lena Morris 2011/05/29 - 10:28 pm

I have read this story and so glad there are more people out there that can admit when they are wrong… I am too quilty of texting & driving. But as of tonight while watching the Extreme Home Makeover edition on Alex Brown, I signed the pledge and I am having my son and husband and all my family is where I am starting to sign the pledge….

val 2011/06/14 - 7:27 pm

hi brown family i am so sryyy to hear about your lose of your daughter and sisiter Alex Brown i am never an di mean never ever going to text and drive even though your daughter has died and it was very devistating but it sure mad alot of people stop texting and driving and it will save alot of peoples lives. i am sure alex is looking down on you and saying they did such a good thing i wish i could be with them right now i wish you the best Brown family

val 2011/06/14 - 7:32 pm

hey i love ur comment it is really nice

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