A teenager was killed moments after texting her boyfriend a sweet message. 19-year-old Angelina Holloway of Citrus County, Florida was killed after texting her boyfriend and then hitting a tree. On April 18, 2016, she was driving home when she sent her boyfriend a loving note.
At 2:11pm, she wrote: "I can't wait to see you this weekend!" Moments later, she veered off of the road. That's when she crashed her car into a tree and died on impact.
Her family is now dealing with the sad aftermath. "It was devastating because she knew better," said Marvalene Corlett. "When I found her phone the next day, it was in the rubble in her car under everything,"
Holloway had just graduated from Citrus High School. She was planning to study psychology at Southeastern University in Lakeland and study abroad. "She was going to go to Uganda for missionary. She was excited for that, and three days later is when life turned for all of us," said Corlett.
In the aftermath of her daughter's death, Corlett is hoping to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving. The campaign, #JustDriveCitrus, is in partnership with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. "I want it to hit the heart. I want them to see that it's a reality, that it does happen," said Deputy Michele Tewell. Tewell says that the issue of texting while driving is significant. Traffic crashes have increased by 17 percent this year in Citrus County. "More people have cellphones than take a drink of alcohol."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), thousands of lives are taken by what's called distracted driving. In 2015, 477 lives were taken by distracted driving. Texting is considered the most "alarming" distracted form of driving. As the NHTSA says, sending or reading a text takes the driver's eyes off the road for 5 seconds. Although this seems insignificant, the association likens texting while driving at 55 mph to what would be driving an entire football field with the driver's eyes closed.
As Tewell says, "It took Angelina's life, but it also impacted her family and all her friends, so it's not worth it."
[Photo: Personal photo]