Keep hands on wheel, eyes on road

  • Published
  • By Ronald Warr II
  • 81st Training Support Squadron
My childhood best friend and his wife have two beautiful children and live in a small Alabama town where he serves as a probation officer and deputy sheriff.

Aug. 28, he received the call that is every parent's worst nightmare -- to come to the scene of a traffic accident involving two vehicles. There were injuries and emergency medical personnel were responding. One vehicle belonged to his 17-year-old daughter, Spenser. When he arrived on the scene, Spenser's car was completely engulfed in flames.

Spenser was on her way home from a friend's house on a route that she had driven hundreds of times. She was in a hurry and had pushed her cruise control up to 62 miles per hour. I mean, hey, her dad is a sheriff -- even if she gets pulled over, who is going to write her a ticket? That's about the time one of her friends sent her the first text. I'm sure she thought it was no big deal. It's just a text. How long can it take to read a text?

Spenser never saw the pickup truck stopped at the intersection directly ahead of her. She never even had time to hit the brakes before the impact.

The fact that she's alive today is nothing short of a miracle. No one knows for certain exactly how she even got out of the car. The next morning she could hardly move and she'll have a handful of scars. The only salvageable pieces left of the car were a single wheel, slightly scorched without a tire, and one side marker light that was completely popped free from the bumper. Her dad said that it's the worst "car-b-que" that he'd ever seen.

Spenser and her parents want others to learn from her experience. The bottom line here is that taking your eyes off the road to read or answer a text is dangerous and could cost you your life or the life of someone else. It's already illegal in certain areas and that list grows longer each day. Even in areas where it is tolerated, it's not worth your life or anyone else's.