Fatal text message photo aims to stop texting while driving

A photo of the fatal text message, the interrupted text message that a 22-year-old was typing when he lost control of his car, was released by his parents and police yesterday. The fatal text message serves as a warning of the consequences of texting while driving. 

Greeley Police/AP
This photo of the fatal text message was released by police with the permission of Alexander Heit's parents. They hope the fatal text message photo serves as a warning.

It was a fatal text message for Alexander Heit. 

His final text cut off in mid-sentence. Before he could send it, police say the 22-year-old University of Northern Colorado student drifted into oncoming traffic, jerked the steering wheel, and went off the road, rolling his car.

Heit died shortly after the April 3 crash, but his parents and police are hoping the photo of the mundane text on his iPhone will serve as a stark reminder to drivers.

The photo, published Wednesday in The Greeley Tribune, shows Heit was responding to a friend by typing "Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw" before he crashed.

Witnesses told police that Heit appeared to have his head down when he began drifting into the oncoming lane in the outskirts of Greeley, where the University of Northern Colorado is located. According to police, an oncoming driver slowed and moved over just before Heit looked up and jerked the steering wheel.

Police say Heit, a Colorado native who loved hiking and snowboarding, had a spotless driving record and wasn't speeding.

In a statement released through police, Heit's mother said she doesn't want anyone else to lose someone to texting while driving.

"In a split second you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you," Sharon Heit said.

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