Faces of Distracted Driving: Alex Brown

Faces of Distracted Driving: Alex Brown—Text Version
I miss her smile. She had an amazing smile. One time, I remember she had just gotten her braces off, and she thought she was for sure that she was going to go work for a toothpaste company, and be one of those people that had their smile on the toothpaste box.

The morning of November the 10th was just a regular day.

Alex didn’t have to be at school till 9:30 because of her college classes that she was taking in high school. So, Katrina and I went on to school. When I left, I just called her name and said, “I’m leaving!”

And she went, “Wait a minute!”

And she came running out of her room, and she came up there, and gave me a hug, and pushed her hair back like she did every day, and I kissed her on the forehead, and said “Be good today.”

And I left. You know, just a normal day. About 9:30, the aide came in from the college class and said that Alex had not made it to school and wanted to know if she was supposed to be there that day.

Of course, she was. She would just never answer her phone, so I went and told the office that I needed to go find her. But, I knew where she was, and I knew what had happened.

Just in my heart, I knew. She had taken a back road to school that morning. She wasn’t supposed to take it, because it was a dangerous road. And that’s where I found her truck, out in the field.

The doctors had come in the second time and told us that they didn’t think Alex would make it—that they’d lost her several times, and they needed to know what we wanted to do. And my husband and I had to make the decision to let her go.

We were out in the hall waiting for them to get her cleaned up so we could go see her one last time.

I think everything about my life changed. For a long time, it was hard to laugh, to really be joyfully happy. There are times when Katrina and I would be out doing stuff, and I would feel like I needed to text Alex and tell her what was going on, because I knew she would like it. And then I would remember I couldn’t tell her. I was supposed to be able to go visit her at college right now.

You know, and embarrass her on campus in front of all of her friends. I can’t do that. It’s just a whole part of my life that’s gone now.

She left me a note, oh, probably six or eight months before she had her wreck. Just “Alex hearts you,” you know, on my windshield with a dry erase marker. It’s still there. You know, I can’t bring myself to wipe it off. I look at it every day.

After Alex died, and we went home, I got on the internet to check her phone records. And my husband came up and he goes, “What are you doing?”

And I said, “I want to know if she was texting and driving.”

And he said she was.

With kids that age, I think it’s more of an addiction, you know, they have to get that text, they have to be talking to somebody all the time. She believed me in so many things, and she did what I told her to do the whole time she was growing up, but this one thing we couldn’t get her to quit.

I told her, I said, “You’ve got to stop this. You’re going to have a wreck if you continue to do this.” But, her mentality was it wasn’t gonna happen to her, because she looked me right in the eye and said, “Dad, no I’m not.” Cause that happens to other people.

Distracted driving kills. Safe driving starts with you.


07.01 Evaluating a Speaker Worksheet
Element of the Speech What the Speaker Says Effect on the Audience

What is the speaker’s claim?

Point of View

From whose point of view is the speech told?


What evidence is presented to support the claim?


What ideas are stated which are related to the claim?


What points are emphasized within the speech?


What is the tone or mood of the speaker?



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