As her mom, Gina Harris, describes her, Yukon, Oklahoma's Brittanie Montgomery was an All-American sweetheart: "Pretty, intelligent, always smiling, and talented--very talented."
In December 2006, Brittanie was enrolled at the University of Central Oklahoma and dancing for the relocated New Orleans Hornets' Honeybees squad. Says Gina, "Seeing the transformation from high school to a young lady dancing on a pro level was just--it was amazing."
But Brittanie remained rooted in her community, finding time to babysit for neighborhood children. At school, she was studying childhood development and hoped to work with disadvantaged kids.
On December 21st, Brittanie climbed behind the wheel of her car. She made it about a mile and a half before losing control of the car and veering across four lanes of traffic. At the time of her fatal crash, she was talking on her cell phone.
In our latest Faces of Distracted Driving video, Gina tells Brittanie's story, and I urge you to watch it and share it with someone you care about.
"He said they were talking and then all of a sudden she was just gone. That was it and that’s right when her wreck happened. To have to grasp that I lost one of my children to technology just--it floored me."
"There's not a day goes by," she says, "that someone does not hear me talk about staying off your phone while driving."
You can help Gina and others share this safety message. Our redesigned website, distraction.gov, has all the tools you need to get involved. And if you're not quite ready to take that next step, the site also features useful facts and statistics and a terrific safe driving pledge your entire family can sign.
Whatever you do next--whether it's watching this video and sharing it with your friends, family, and co-workers; visiting distraction.gov; or privately pledging to put your phone away when you get behind the wheel--please remember that distraction-free driving starts with you.
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.