Johnny Mac Brown speaks Tuesday in the Escondido teater insidethe student Union building to one audience the students around how hisdaughter Alex Brown lost her life as a an outcome of text massage anddriving.

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photo by emily de Santos

“Are you willing to trade your life for part words ~ above a phone?”Johnny Mac Brown asked students Tuesday in ~ the “Street Smart:Texting and Awareness” presentation.

On Nov. 10, 2009, the Brown family members lost their eldest daughter,Alex, a Seagraves High school senior, when she was text massage anddriving ~ above her way to school. The occasion came as a surprise to theBrowns, who had a conversation with anda daughter a mainly prior tothe accident about the risks of texting in the driver’sseat.

Following the fatality of dari mereka daughter, parents Jeanne and JohnnyMac created the organization “Remember Alex Brown,” and also they begantouring the negara to raise awareness about the issue. They nowspeak in ~ schools and to state legislatures to push for an individual andlegislative change.A driver that is text massage is 24 waktu more likelyto obtain in an accident 보다 the average driver, and also is 6 timesmore most likely than a drunk driver to acquire in one accident, Jeanne Brownsaid, yet no one goes come jail for texting and driving.


According to the Governor’s Highway safety and security Association, ripe statesand Washington, D.C., have actually laws against lihat handheld cellphoneswhile driving. Texas outlaws the use of handheld cellphones inschool zones with posted signs, Jeanne said.

“It ambil six secs to read, analyze and also respond to a text. At 70mph, us will have actually driven a football daerah and a half,” Jeannesaid.

During her presentation, Jeanne recalled the day of Alex’s death.On a kembali road kapan texting and also driving, Alex wasn’t memakai herseatbelt. Once she crashed, she truck rolling once and also she wasthrown from the vehicle.

“Even after I buried my 17-year-old daughter, I uncovered myselfdriving through (this Blackberry) in my ear,” Johnny Mac said.

Citing Distraction.gov, a federal government website top top drivingdistractions, the Browns categorized the distractions vehicle drivers faceon the roadway as gift visual, memandu and cognitive. By choose up acellphone, Jeanne said, all three distractions are present.


Johnny Mac described his cellphone as a “crackberry” and also said hewas just as addicted come it together a medicine addict is come drugs. After ~ thisrealization, he claimed he knew helping to stop the usage of cellphoneswhile steering was important to him.

“I nothing care around TV or a home from ‘Extreme home Makeover,’”Johnny Mac said. “I don’t want your parental to go v the samething we had to.”

Johnny Mac juga said the figures relating come cellphone use whiledriving room not representative that the actual pains inflicted. Theactual number, according to Johnny Mac, is that more than 330,000people hurt or eliminated every tahun and 11 setiap orang are killed daily from driving crashes related to cellphone use.

“It felt choose a million people punched me in the stomach,” KatrinaBrown, Alex’s younger sister, said of her sister’s death. “Itreally results younger siblings.”

Jeanne Brown advises student who continue to text and also drive totalk with their parents around the possibility of death. The Brownsfaced end $150,000 in medical bills after Alex’s death, yet theywere spanned by insurance.

Jeanne said students to tell dari mereka parents maafkan saya type the funeralthey wanted, what they want to be buried in and maafkan saya they wantedon anda headstones.

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“I had actually to feel guilty about maafkan saya I hidden Alex in,” Jeanne said.“Our prayer is that the lanjut time you gain in her car, girlfriend ignorethat phone and the texts.”

To tanda the family’s pledge to no text and also drive, visithttp://www.rememberalexbrownfoundation.org. Because that apps to preventcellphone use while driving quicker than 10 mph, visithttp://www.phoneguard.com. For reminders to put cellphones down,visit http://www.texttoggle.com.