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Family of Prudie Garrett pushes for legislative change

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RUSH SPRINGS, Okla._The family of a Rush Springs woman killed in a head-on collision last year is now speaking out and wanting justice.

The daughters of Prudie Garrett want to change the texting and driving laws in the State of Oklahoma because the man who caused the crash was reportedly using his phone when it happened. Justin Scaffinger veered into her lane, hitting her head on. He's now scheduled to stand trial for negligent homicide in Prudie's death.

In the State of Oklahoma, negligent homicide is a misdemeanor and the maximum punishment is one year behind bars. For Prudie's daughters, that sentence just simply isn't enough.

"She raised us to stand up for each other and we always stood up for her," said Tammy Garrett, Prudie’s daughter.

Tammy Garrett and her sister Patty said the past year has been nothing short of difficult for her family.

"If anything was wrong, mom was right there. She was our constant and it's very hard to lose that," said Garrett.

When they got word that the man responsible for their mother's death would only be charged with a misdemeanor, they knew they were working with a flawed system.

"This is not a kid. This is a man on his job that had a work phone and a personal phone. There was no reason for his personal phone to be in that vehicle. It's just like going down the road and shooting a gun," said Garrett.

So family and friends started from ground zero with a goal to turn the heads of legislators and that very first step started with a very powerful tool.

"A friend of mine started a Facebook page that's called “Justice for Prudie Garrett” and that page is to change the laws about cell phones in Oklahoma," said Garret.

The Garrett family wants to see cases like Justin Scaffinger's be filed in the state as a felony. The journey will be long, but Tammy says she's committed to finding justice for her mother and preventing the unthinkable.

"I don't think you should get more jail time for drugs than you do for killing somebody. No matter how you kill them,” said Garrett. “I hope the law is changed and I hope no one else has to go through it."

The Garrett’s say they're waiting for the verdict in Scaffinger's case to come down this summer so they can use his sentence in their case to lawmakers. In the meantime, their goal is gain as much public awareness in the state as possible, starting with social media.

You can check out the Facebook page “Justice for Prudie L. Garret” here.

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