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Photo: Alexander Heit's final text message -- which he was sending when he crashed and died

texting driving 205x205.jpg
Big photo below.
A Colorado ban against texting while driving went into effect in 2009 -- not that Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle thought it would make a huge difference. At the time, he shrugged off the measure as a "feel-good law" that would be tough to enforce.

More than three years later, texting and driving still happens all the time, with sometimes fatal consequences. That's why the parents of Alexander Heit have released a photo of their son's last text -- the one he was sending when he crashed and died.

On April 3, according to the Greeley Tribune, Heit, a Boulder resident attending the University of Northern Colorado, was driving east on 0 Street near 35th Avenue in an area of roadway with a dirt shoulder and a sizable drop-off when his car veered into traffic. He tried to get back into the proper lane, but his sudden correction caused his car to roll and flip. Afterward, he was rushed to an area hospital, but his injuries were too severe, and he was soon pronounced dead.

What caused the accident? Well, witnesses on the scene said Heit's head had been down as he crossed lanes, and a phone was found in his car. Here's a photo of the last message, as supplied by the Greeley Police Department:

alexander heit text.jpg
Sharon Heit, Alexander's bereft mom, issued a heartfelt statement through the GPD. It reads in part, "I can't bear the thought of anyone else having to go through something like this. Please, vow to never, NEVER text and drive. In a split second you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you."

A UNC release notes that a tree-planting project in Heit's memory is being planned by the family and should take place during the spring or early summer. In the meantime, you can honor him and his loved ones not just with heartfelt condolences, which we also offer, but by putting down the damn phone when you're behind the wheel.

More from our Politics archive circa 2009: "Texting while driving: a passionate defense of the new ban."


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10 comments
mrlserr
mrlserr

He must have not been wearing a seat belt also.  My sons were in a one car rollover at high speed, 75 MPH when they were messing with the CD player.  One son had a broken collarbone and the other was unscathed.  They were both wearing their seat belts.  I thank God every day that they were not seriously hurt.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I hope every kid in the nation sees this and realizes how easily it could have been themselves !

I'm sight impaired & can't even imagine ATTEMPTING texting while driving !

I used to be able to roll a joint while going down the road . A skill for which I received MANY compliments .

Michael J. Estes
Michael J. Estes

Life is more important than knowing what a friend had for breakfast

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Behold the miracle of Evolution known as Natural Selection

Ronnie Galang
Ronnie Galang

My condolences to the family of Alexander Heit. What could help? We need to adopt a handheld ban for all drivers, not one that just describes texting, which is outdated. It's not about the danger of texting, but the danger of smartphone use in general while driving. None of us need to browse the web, play Words with Friends, or check into FourSquare while driving.

Aaron LeForce
Aaron LeForce

stupid people need to die off somehow...can't keep passing laws to keep retards alive.

Russell Lott
Russell Lott

texting and driving with a hand-held phone are both illegal in Colorado

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