Alex Brown wanted to change the world.
"I knew she was gonna do something big," said Johnny Mac Brown. "But something as small as a text message ended that."
Last night, ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition introduced the world to the Brown family: father Johnny Mac, mother Jeanne, and 12-year-old Katrina. And today, they're featured in our latest "Faces of Distracted Driving" video:
Life hasn't been the same for the Browns since November 10, 2009--the day 17-year-old Alex died after crashing her truck on the way to school in Wellman, Texas. She was texting behind the wheel.
It was a habit her parents had tried to break since she got her license. "She believed me in so many things, but this one thing we couldn't get her to quit," said Jeanne Brown.
Alex was one of nearly 5,500 people to die in distracted driving crashes in 2009. Nearly half a million more were injured.
Tragically, it did happen. And since losing their beloved daughter, the Browns have made it their mission to prevent other families from suffering a similar loss.
Within days of Alex's death, Jeanne and Johnny Mac decided to begin towing her mangled truck to schools across Texas to speak with teens about the dangers of distracted driving. And they started the Remember Alex Brown Foundation, creating a pledge to encourage safe driving.
"The pledge we have, it's a pledge to yourself--and to every other person on the road. It's a commitment to stop texting and driving and buckle up your seatbelt," said Johnny Mac.
And with the help of Justin Bieber, Emma Roberts, NASCAR drivers Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, and the entire Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew, the Browns are preparing to take their cause to the next level. In addition to their new home, the family received resources to help them launch their organization nationally. And fifty high schools in fifty states have already taken the R.A.B. pledge not to text and drive.
At the beginning of last night's show, head designer Ty Pennington said, "We can't bring Alex back, but we can make sure her name is remembered forever."
And if you have a distracted driving experience you'd like to share, post a video on YouTube and email a link to email@example.com.