Teachers, students rally against texting and driving

Teachers, students rally against texting and driving

DUNCAN, Okla._Saturday is National Don't Text and Drive Day, and teachers and students at Duncan High School rallied together to make sure the deadly danger of distracted driving was heard by everyone.

The students heard personal accounts from first responders who've come face-to-face with the tragic results of the choice of taking your eyes off the road to text.

The realization of how dangerous it can be to text and drive doesn't become real until it happens to you or one of your friends.

Air Evac responder Jennifer Fisher paints a harsh reality that even the Oklahoma Highway Patrol have experienced firsthand. Trooper Nicholas Dees and Trooper Keith Burch were both hit by a distracted driver in May. Trooper Dees was killed.

"They were working an accident and a driver was on his phone for a long time. And he didn't see them because he wasn't paying attention," Fisher explained.

The punishment for distracted driving in Oklahoma will carry a heavy penalty starting November 1.

"If there is an accident that causes serious bodily injury or a fatality, then the charge is manslaughter, which is a big deal. It's a little less than murder, but you're looking at 10-15 years in prison," Trooper Carmen said.

There wasn't a sound in the auditorium as Air Evac responder Mike Daniels began to describe the physical and mental trauma that can come with distracted driving accidents.

"If you're not able to breathe, we are going to breathe for you. That could include us giving a medicine to you that's going to paralyze you. You will feel yourself stop breathing. Then we will put a tube in your throat so we can breathe for you," Daniels explained.

Daniels went on to explain what parents and loved ones see when they visit the hospital.

"Your parents, whenever they come to the hospital, they are going to have to see you on a ventilator, they are going to have to see a tube hanging out of your mouth. So, just think about that before you pick up that phone," Daniels said.