A 17-year-old Alabama girl who was killed in a car crash was texting while driving right before the crash, investigators said this week.
Camryn Callaway, a senior at Thompson High School, ran her vehicle into the back of an 18-wheeler on Feb. 22 on I-65 S.
Pelham Police said that an investigation revealed texting while driving caused the crash.
Michelle Lunsford, Camryn’s mom, said that her daughter didn’t regularly text while driving, but didn’t seem to dispute the police’s findings. She wants to spread word of her death to warn others not to do so.
Now, she wants everyone to see her daughter’s unrecognizable mustang.
“I think a visual needs to be seen. I know for me, I’m a visual person and to see my child in a casket who’s no longer with us, that’s visual to me and my family,” she told WKRG.
“Camryn was my heart. She was the reason I lived and now I just have a new focus on life. She’s not here anymore. I just want to honor her.”
Alabama passed a statewide law in 2012 that prohibited text messaging while driving. The law fines violators $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense, and $75 for a third or subsequent offenses.
AT&T helped pass the ban with a campaign after a survey the company conducted found that among teen drivers 43 percent admitted to texting while driving.
The company said that texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash.
“It’s critical that we stop this,” said Glyn Agnew, regional director of Alabama legislative and external affairs for AT&T Alabama. “It’s worse than driving under the influence.”
Pelham Police said after the wreck that it happened just past exit 242.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family,” said Chief Larry Palmer in a release, reported WIAT. “The loss of a child is something no parent should ever experience.”
Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans said that the cause of death was blunt force trauma, reported the Shelby County Reporter.
Callaway was alone in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
Callaway was just three months away from graduating when she died.
The family said in an obituary that Callaway was a talented artist, dancer, singer, and actress.
“She loved all types of music, especially ’80s music. Her favorite places to visit were her birthplace -Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Pensacola Beach; and anywhere her family was. She was excited for her upcoming birthday, prom, graduation, trip to Europe, and starting her adult life at the University of Montevallo,” they stated.
“God had other plans and gave her wings to fly free. She was a beautiful soul inside and out, and she will be missed terribly by her friends and family.”