October marks two important safety campaigns for drivers. Not only is it National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
, but we’re also currently observing Teen Driver Safety Week that runs from Oct 18-24, something Car Pro Show host Jerry Reynolds talked about on the show last Saturday. The importance of both of these campaigns cannot be understated - something that is underscored by a recent accident in North Texas that took the life of a young four-year old girl, an accident her father says
was caused by a distracted driver, although that has not been confirmed by investigators.
If you’ve seen the social media hashtag #putitdownforabbie on social media, you may be familiar with the story. Texas Storm Chasers
’ Jason Cooley and his daughter were traveling down I-30 near Sulphur Springs, Texas, on October 12th, when traffic reportedly
forced them to slow to a near stop. His 2007 Honda Civic was hit from behind by a pickup truck. Cooley is also a storm chaser for KTEN and spoke to the TV station about what happened
Jason was treated and released for his injuries, but his daughter Abigail, who was reportedly secured in the back seat in her car seat, did not survive her traumatic brain injury. She passed away several days later and became an organ donor.
While the crash remains under investigation, a social media campaign is underway Abigail’s memory: #putitdownforabbie and it asks participants to wear purple in her honor on October 22.
Here is the official Texas Department of Public Safety accident statement, which remained without an update as of 10/21/20:
MOUNT PLEASANT- On October 12, 2020 at approximately 11:33 a.m., Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers were notified of a four-vehicle traffic crash on I-30 near the 117 mile marker in Hopkins County. Preliminary investigation indicates a 2014 Dodge Caravan was traveling westbound on I-30 and slowed down due to a previous crash and traffic volume. The Caravan was followed by a 2017 Honda Pilot and a 2007 Honda Civic. For an as yet undetermined reason, the driver of a westbound 2010 Ford F-150 failed to control the vehicle’s speed. The F-150 struck the Honda Civic which in turn struck Honda Pilot, which in turn struck the Caravan.
The driver of the Dodge, John Willis, 66 of Ft. Worth, was not injured. The driver of the Honda Pilot, Matthew White, 46, of Arlington, was also not injured. The driver of the Honda Civic, Jason Cooley, 30, of Lewisville, was taken to an area hospital where he was treated and released. A juvenile female passenger in the Civic was taken to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas and later died. The driver of the Ford, a male juvenile, was not injured.
This crash remains under investigation and no additional information is currently available.