Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30--Distracted Driving Awareness Month

On March 19, 2011, our beloved Gayla was taken from this world by a distracted driver. This video is our family's face of distracted driving. For the rest of my life, I will be an advocate for distraction-free driving.

Sister was born in 1972, the first child to Brenda and James. Gayla was the celebration of their love. She was the guinea pig baby in that they learned to parent with Gayla. My Brother JamesII and I would learn what not to do by watching her test the waters of growing up. Sister mostly taught us all what it meant to loved whole heartily.

Saturday, March 19, 2011, was a beautiful sunny day. Our family was awaiting the arrival of our newest member, William. My little family had spent the week in Hooks as part of Spring Break and William-Watch. Gayla had had to travel for work, and because she wanted to be there when William made his debut, she had decided to stay at her house in Rhome and come down once his mother was in labor.

To treat herself and to enjoy the beginning of spring, Sister was headed out that afternoon to eat at Waffle House and then get a pedicure. There were two possible paths Gayla could have taken for her mini-venture, up 114 past the Texas Motor Speedway or up 287 to Fort Worth. Because there was a classic car show at TMS that day, Gayla chose the other path to avoid traffic. The irony in that statement hurts my heart. Sister was sitting in traffic not moving more than 10 mph at a stop and go pace when she was hit from behind and her car was sent across the median to finally crash into a wire guard rail. The tractor trailer driver said he was down-shifting instead of breaking and his truck fell out of gear. He looked down to put the truck back in gear and when he looked up, he had no time to break before he rear-ended Gayla's car. It has since been uncovered that there were more distractions going on than a missed gear.

Gayla was killed instantly when her neck was broken by the impact. She did not suffer. However, the suffering was left for her family and friends.

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