On April 3, University of Northern Colorado student Alexander Heit lost control of his car while sending a text on his iPhone. The loss of control caused the car to roll over, and the 22-year-old died a short time after being transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

Greeley, CO Police officers on the scene of the accident discovered Heit's cell phone in his car. The text message conversation that he had been engaged in when he slipped control was still visible on the screen; an unfinished and rather mundane message still not quite completed in the send box.

Heit's family and the Greeley PD have published the photos and Alex's story, in the hopes that it will add a bit more seriousness to the danger associated with texting and driving, and thereby prevent similar accidents in the future.

Said Sharon Heit, Andrew's mother:

"I can't bear the thought of anyone else having to go through something like this. 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. And in honor of Alex's memory, please do something kind for a stranger who needs help, as Alex always wished for a world were people were kinder to each other."



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  • 111 Comments
      canuckcharlie
      • 1 Year Ago
      I will never ever text again while driving
      Cory Stansbury
      • 1 Year Ago
      I must be getting old (27?), but the couple times I have struggled to text "ok" on a deserted 6-lane highway at 2 AM makes me wonder how anyone could write whole sentences/engage in conversations while driving in traffic. I dated a girl who had a normal 10 key phone and she would text whole sentences while driving. It blew my mind...that lecture didn't go well either :( In general, the thought of looking at anything besides the road for more than 1/2 second (44 feet @ 60) scares the crap out of me.
        mcdull
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cory Stansbury
        Actually, it's not that hard to type a whole message on a normal 10 key phone without looking at it. I have friends who can do that easily because you know exactly which key and how many times you have pressed and the rotation of letters on each key is fixed. It is nearly impossible to do that on touchscreen phones as you can't feel which key you have pressed. And even worse than texting, very often people are doing the even harder task in entering a full address to the gps/map apps on the phone.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Are people not scared that their car is weaving back and forth when they text? What is wrong with people, nobody values life anymore? I swear smartphones might aswell be crack cocaine.
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Cruising
        Do they not realize that they're operating 1-2 ton chunks of metal?
      GR
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have made it a conscious effort a while ago to ignore my phone for the most part when I drive. I have a phone issued from work, but I still ignore most of the emails when I drive. Once, a co-worker asked me if I read her email when I was commuting and I told her my steering wheel, three pedals, and six gears had my attention, not her email.
      SLR722GT
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why do people f****** drink...and then drive?
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of my friends steers with his knees while he texts with both hands. He'd probably be more safe with a bottle whiskey and a Long Island ice tea in the other hand. I admit sometimes I text at stop lights, and even that in my opinion feels risky. Its tragic that people get hurt or killed for something so stupid. There might a lot of talk about texting and driving, but people just arent taking it seriously because they feel, like many people behind the wheel that they "are great drivers with superior control of their vehicle". The people that think they are best drivers are usually some of the worst.
        Nemebean
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scooter
        I also use my phone at stoplights. My policy is that if the vehicle is in motion then the phone is down. The only real danger I see is pissing off the people behind you because you miss the light turning green (which I'm very careful not to do).
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Nemebean
          Well, thats CA. Hopefully the US doesnt follow the same stupidity.
          Nemebean
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Nemebean
          I'm guessing the laws vary by state, but if I get cited for using my phone at a stoplight I will put that in the same category as getting a speeding ticket for doing 60 in a 55. If it happens it happens. I'm not hurting anyone and only a dick would pull me over for doing it. Mind you, I'm not going to intentionally test that theory by doing either when I know a cop is around, but I'm not going to worry much about it either.
      clquake
      • 1 Year Ago
      There should be a federal law allowing you to smash anyone's phone if they say they can text and drive.
      P-derby
      • 1 Year Ago
      Reminds me of a similar story I saw last year: http://www.ksee24.com/news/local/Teen-Was-Texting-Every-90-Seconds-Before-Fatal-Crash-141439053.html Her last words, "I can't discuss this now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha." It's not like the dangers of texting and driving are new and we are now becoming aware of it. Its a decision people choose to make everyday rather than realize that driving is a privilege and OTHER people's lives are at risk. How do you make a selfish person care about others?
      S.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Please everyone: Toss your cell phone in your glovebox (on silent) when you get in your car, and enjoy the drive. If it's too tempting, toss it in the trunk. You've got voicemail and an inbox...all your messages can wait until you're out of the car.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      About 2 weeks ago I drove by an accident site where the texter had driven waaaaay up a wooded hill side and slammed into a tree. My students can't stop texting in class even though there's a severe penalty. I'm beginning to think each text should be taxed in order to cut down on meaningless drivel, texting while driving and in socially unacceptable places.
      Txdesign
      • 1 Year Ago
      So here's a stupid question: now that we have voice to text on many smartphones haven't we come full circle back to having phone calls?
        rsxvue
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Txdesign
        No really -- for the iphone specifically (not sure how it works on other phones) you simply hold down the home button to activate siri and from there on, it's like having a conversation with a passenger. You never have to take your eyes off the road.
      Walt
      • 1 Year Ago
      You're driving and receive a phone call or a text message and feel you must respond. Pull off the road to a safe parking spot and place the vehicle in park. Then, and only then, you can return the call or text message. Let them know you're driving and won't be able to call or text until you reach your destination. No exceptions!
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