Florida Teen Passes Away in Crash After Texting. Her Death Inspired a Campaign

Florida Teen Passes Away in Crash After Texting. Her Death Inspired a Campaign
A stock photo shows an ambulance with lights flashing. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Angelina Holloway, 19, died in a fatal crash after she veered off the road in Floral City, Florida. Her death is now the focus of a new anti-texting campaign in the county.

When she crashed, she had just finished working a shift at Sonny’s BBQ in Bushnell and was driving home on County Road 48.

“She had called earlier and said she was working a double shift,” Marvalene Corlett, Holloway's mother recalled, according to the Chronicle Online. “I said, ‘OK. Be careful. I love you,’ and she said, ‘I love you, too.’ And she left work around 2 p.m.”

Angelina died when her car hit a tree. She died on impact.

Her last text to her boyfriend was at 2:11 p.m. It read, "I can't wait to see you this weekend!"

"When I found her phone the next day, it was in the rubble in her car under everything," her mother said, Fox News reported this week.

"It was devastating because she knew better," Corlett told Fox News.

“She swerved and hit the tree on the driver’s side and her head hit the tree,” Corlett told the Chronicle. “She had her seatbelt on — she was a seatbelt fanatic. But texting — we had talked about that. She knew better. I see it constantly, and it breaks my heart, especially now.”

A year after her 2016 death, her mother is now raising awareness about texting and driving via a campaign launched by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office. It’s called #JustDriveCitrus.

"I want it to hit the heart. I want them to see that it's a reality, that it does happen," Deputy Michele Tewell, who helped launch the campaign, told Fox. "It took Angelina's life, but it also impacted her family and all her friends, so it's not worth it."

Now, Angelina Holloway's face, as well as her last text message, will be displayed along Highway 41 in Inverness until January as a warning to motorists.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,477 lives in 2015 alone."  It mainly cites talking or texting on a phone as the primary culprit.
"Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed," the agency says. "You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing."

Study: Adults Text More Than Teens?

High school students and young adults, in recent years, have been the subject of education campaigns to prevent them from texting while driving, but according to a new survey from AT&T, adults may be worse.
“Commuters are texting and driving even more than teens – 49 percent, compared to 43 percent,” AT&T said in the survey. “And the problem has gotten worse. Six in 10 commuters say they never texted while driving three years ago.”

Forty-three percent of adult respondents said texting and driving was a “habit,” the company said. And nearly all the adults said they know it’s wrong to text while driving.

“I was a little bit surprised,” Charlene Lake, AT&T’s senior vice president-public affairs, added to USA Today about the survey’s figures. “It was sobering to realize that texting while driving by adults is not only high, it’s really gone up in the last three years.”

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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