Mother Shares Story Of Losing Daughter In Texting and Driving Crash

Published 02/27 2014 06:13PM

Updated 02/27 2014 07:26PM

Texting and driving takes thousands of lives each year -- even right here in the Ozarks.  A Northwest Arkansas mother, Merry Dye, lost her daughter, Mariah West, in a texting and driving accident.

Merry Dye has teamed up with KOLR10, Make It Easy Autos, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Cox Health, and Chevy Dealers of the Ozarks for a 'No text and Drive' campaign that visits high schools across the Ozarks.  Today, Merry shared her personal and emotional story at Walnut Grove High School.

A teary-eyed mother reflects how she lost her daughter.  "She had big dreams and all kinds of plans, and all of that cut short ... because of a text message," says Dye.

"Mariah never wanted a minute to go by that she wasn't doing something.  She wanted to do everything all at one time," says Mariah's friend.

Mariah West attended Rogers High School in Northwest Arkansas.  She was driving to Springfield to see a baseball game the day before her graduation.  A simple text -- "Where you at?" -- cut her life short.

"I'm at the sight of Mariah West's accident.  Mariah's vehicle traveled across this median and ended up striking this bridge that you can see behind me," says Grant Hendrix with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.  Mariah was partially thrown from her car.  "When I got to the scene, her face was disfigured from sliding down the roadway," says Hendrix. 

A mother's worst nightmare is now a reality for Dye.  "You have a choice.  You can either shrivel up in a corner and be in misery.  Or you can take that passion, and put it into keep other parents from going through the same kind of loss,"  explains Dye.

Dye now shares her message with high school students across the country to explain the harsh realities that can result from texting and driving.  "Every time we can share this messge, every life we can save, it kind of helps take the sting out of losing my daughter," says Dye.

Merry dye will continue sharing her story with high schools around the Ozarks in the coming months.High school students have the opportunity to sign a 'No Text and Drive Pledge' and be entered in a drawing to win a free car!  Go to the following website to sign the pledge:

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