SAN ANTONIO - A father shared the story of his daughter's texting and driving-related death on Monday in the hope that it will prevent others from dying the same preventable death.
Elana Myers, 18, a pre-med student and model, was driving home to Austin from Texas Tech in Lubbock in 2014.
"We were so excited to have Elana come home," her father, Mike Myers, said.
She never arrived, though, and never would again. Elana died that day in a car accident.
"She didn't make it home for her 19th birthday," Mike Myers said.
He said Elana's friends would send her pictures while she was driving to keep her from getting bored.
"Within three seconds, she was gone," Myers said. "It's that fast."
He shared his story with students Monday at St. Mary's University as part of the Texas Department of Transportation's "Talk, Text, Crash" spring campaign.
The 16-24 age group has the most distracted driving accidents. They made up 30 percent of the more than 100,000 distracted-driving accidents in Texas in 2015. It's an occurrence that grew by 3 percent last year.
The focus is not just on social media and texting, but anything that takes a person's eyes off the road.
The event provided a "Wall of Remembrance," sharing audio-video stories of families who lost loved ones, as well as a driving simulator showing how easily an accident can happen when a driver takes his or her eyes off the road.
Senior Chantelle Ruidant said the activities and the handouts are all good reminders of what's at stake.
"Getting a sticker, many people are going to put this on their notebooks, on their laptops, and it's going to be a constant reminder," Ruidant said.
Mike Myers said sharing his painful memories would have meant something to Elana.
"Think about that during the course of your day when you are talking to your son or daughter," he said. "Don't you want them there for the rest of their lives?"
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