Alexander Heit's parents hope his last text sends message to other drivers
- This April 3, 2013 photo provided by the Greeley Police shows the text message University of Northern Colorado student Alexander Heit was typing to an unidentified person when police say he lost control of his car and ran off the road. (AP Photo/Greeley Police)
The parents of a 22-year-old Colorado man who died in a car crash are hoping the unfinished text message he was writing at the time sends a message to other drivers.
Alexander Heit was writing a text message when he lost control of his car April 3. Last week, Colorado police released a picture of his last message,which said, "Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw"
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.
Toyota is also trying to send the same message to young drivers with a teen driver video challenge. In its second year, hundreds of teens have submitted videos attempting to inspire their peers to drive more safely and avoid distraction.
Oakton High School student and aspiring filmmaker Chance Crail is one of 10 finalists, and the only one from the D.C. area. The 17-year-old's video is in the running for a $15,000 college scholarship.
"When you are watching TV, you don't want to have your comedy show interrupted by very somber ads about teen driving or teen driving fatalities, so I wanted to come up with a way to be more humorous about it while still maintaining a serious message," Crail explained.
The high school senior is heading to Colorado College in the fall.
Nationally, more than 3,000 people a year die from distracted driving crashes. One survey found 34 percent of teens ages 16 and 17 admitted to texting and driving while nearly half said they've been in a car when the driver was texting.
If you want to check out the finalists and vote for your favorite film, click here. The contest ends at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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