"I was driving up, and my neighbor was flagging me down. I could see the fire trucks and the ambulances. I got out and parked, and saw a child lying on the ground--with no clue that it was my daughter."
These are the haunting words of Shelley Forney, a mother who experienced a heartbreaking loss because a driver was looking at a cell phone instead of the road. She shares her story in the latest installment of our Faces of Distracted Driving series.
On November 25, 2008, Shelley's 9-year-old daughter Erica was riding her bike just steps from her home. A neighbor, who was driving an SUV at 25 miles per hour, looked down at her cell phone as she finished a call. She never saw the child in her path.
Erica was struck by the car and thrown 15 feet, landing on her neck. She died two days later--on Thanksgiving Day.
"The stress and the heartache that you have to endure on a daily basis is nothing anybody should go through," Shelley said. "I don’t want any other family to go through that."
Since discovering that her daughter's death was caused by distracted driving, Shelley has made it her mission to raise awareness about just how dangerous a text or a phone call behind the wheel can be. “Distracted driving just isn't worth it. It wasn’t worth my daughter's life," she says.
"If you choose to text or take a phone call behind the wheel, you’re playing Russian roulette with your life and everyone else's lives on the road.”
If you have a distracted driving story to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.