In 2006, high school student Amanda Clark ran a stop sign while talking on her cell phone and was broadsided by another vehicle. Her SUV took a beating, but Amanda walked away with only a few scrapes and bruises. Lesson learned, right?
Without a doubt, the automobile accident got Amanda’s attention. She wrote about the experience for her senior project at Oakdale High School in 2006. “I hate the thought of dying without my family knowing how I felt about them. I believe everything happens for a reason and the reason for my car accident is to let me know that I need to slow down and pay more attention. I know that I need to change the way I have been living my life. I realize how easy it is for my life to be over because I wasn’t paying attention.”
So Amanda turned over a new leaf…and turned off her phone behind the wheel.
At least for a little while.
Family members and friends hoped this would be a wakeup call for the young driver, but over the next few months as Amanda’s confidence grew, she returned to her old habit of using her phone while driving.
Almost one year to the day after her accident, Amanda was driving in Manteca in the San Francisco Bay area…while having an angry exchange with her roommate via text message. She lost control of her car at the intersection of HWY 120 and I-5. Carnage followed.
Amanda wouldn’t walk away from this accident. It took emergency responders 40 minutes to free Clark from the crumpled metal that was once her car, but by that time she’d been without oxygen for more than 20 minutes. She died the following day.
All of us make mistakes. All of us make poor choices. Sometimes, we’re given second chances. We should make the most of them.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)