Fatal Distracted Driving Crash Vehicle Will Be On Display In Hermiston
A sobering reminder as to the dangers of distracted driving can be seen April 3 and 4th in the parking lot of Hermiston High School, in fact, the wrecked car claimed one of their own.
As part of the Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODT) Distracted Driving campaign, a wrecked 1998 Buick Regal driven by 19-year-old Alexxyss Therwanger will be on display during school hours and for a short time afterwards.
Therwanger was heading home from Grant County on Highway 395 North towards Hermiston on February 19th 2016. Near Pilot Rock, she lost control of her car, it drifted into the oncoming lane and struck a Lincoln Continental head-on. Therwanger died in the crash, her two teen passengers were injured.
Oregon State Patrol officials determined during the investigation she had been texting and messaging, which caused her to lose control, crash, and ultimately die.
ODT officials and her mother, Shannon Moulton, have teamed up to use the wrecked car as part of the their campaign to urge people NOT to do engage in any behavior that takes their attention and mind off the road. Her mother says, according to the Washington Times, "I don't want any other family to have to go through this."
Investigators in fact, were able to use her phone, which was retrieved at the scene, to determine virtually the exact time of the crash due to the message thread.
Oregon officials say while it's shocking, they hope the sight of the shattered car, and knowing someone died due to distracted driving, will help people realize whatever they need to do can wait until they are off the road. Or, at least pull over safely and finish their talking or messaging.
Officials say waiting a few minutes is more important that sending THAT text or message, certainly worth your life.
The car will be on display at the High School, located at 600 South 1st. Street in Hermiston.