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TXT L8R: Faces of distraction in view

By Matt McDonald
Published On: Jul 12 2012 08:48:45 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Matt McDonald continues our TXT L8R campaign with look at video that tells tragic tales of loss and pain.

Bend, Ore. -

It’s a painful reality for thousands of family every year, distracted drives claims lives. Now, a federal website, distraction.gov is highlighting some of these stories, trying to convince you to put the phone down when behind the wheel.

"In the center of the roadway is where the driver hit Calli and killed her instantly," said Al Andres, who lost his 2-year-old granddaughter.

"You couldn't miss seeing him for hundreds of yards if you were looking at the road," said Bob Okerblom, who lost his teenage son.

The drive to stop distracted driving has reached a level of concern similar to the push to slow drunk driving in the 1980s. Nearly 3,100 people died in 2010 as a result of distracted driving, prompting Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to call it an epidemic.

Here at NewsChannel 21, we're leading a central Oregon community effort to stop texting while driving. Head to the TXTL8R webpage on our Website and take a short pledge, committing yourself to putting your phone down while driving, because a text is not worth a life.

"It's just not about numbers. It means somebody received a phone call saying, 'I'm sorry, there's been an accident. Your loved one didn't make it,'" said Laurie Hevier, who lost her mom.

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