Faces of Distracted Driving: Erica Forney, 9

Uploaded by usdotgov on 07.10.2011

[Music] Erica, um...
she was one of those kids that when she came in the room,
everybody knew she was there and couldn't wait
to hear her start talking cause she'd just make you start
to laugh.
She'd make silly faces, she loved to dance,
she loved to act, she loved to sing.
Oh man, she was just one of those kids
that had a bright future in front of her.
She was the sunshine in our house.
Erica was on her way home,
it was two days before Thanksgiving,
November 25th of 2008.
We were getting ready to pack up to head
over to our family's house for Thanksgiving over the mountains.
She was just around the corner from our home on her bicycle,
when a woman who was driving an Expedition was on her way home,
and she was finishing a phone call.
She was looking down at her phone,
and the next thing she know - she knew, she felt a thud.
Her car stopped because she hit my daughter head on,
with her 5,000 pound SUV at 25 miles an hour.
Erica hit the windshield, and she flipped backwards 15 feet,
and landed on her neck.
I was driving up, and my neighbor was flagging me.
I came in another direction,
I had no idea why she was flagging me
down to come around the corner.
I could see the fire trucks and the ambulances.
I got out and parked and saw a child laying on the ground.
With no clue that it was my daughter.
We lost Erica two days later
of severe brain trauma on Thanksgiving Day.
And all of this was because of a person
who was prioritizing a phone call in their car instead
of looking up in the neighborhood
where my child was fifteen pedals from home.
I've been on a mission to change public perception
of what they think might be an innocent call or text.
It's a deadly consequence.
It's a deadly choice that you're making.
You're playing Russian roulette with your life
and everyone's life on the road.
And it's not worth it.
It wasn't worth my daughter's life,
that that phone call took her life.
And I won't rest, and I won't stop telling my story
until people hear.
And they hear the devastation of how this just destroys families.
You know, I'm hanging on for dear life
to keep my marriage and my family intact.
The stress and the heartache that you have to endure
on a daily basis is nothing anybody should go through,
and I don't want any other family to go through that.
[Music] Distracted driving kills,
and safe driving starts with you.