by Mark Horner
When the Department of Licensing produced a video about a 19-year-old Thurston County woman killed in a distracted driving crash, many of you took notice. Now, the nation’s top transportation official has noticed, too.
This week, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood added our video about Heather Lerch to the US DOT’s Faces of Distraction website. Lerch died instantly after her car left the road on February 23, 2010.
Only a few weeks after their daughter’s death, Dan and Wendy Lerch shared their story with us on-camera, hoping to convince others not to text and drive. They said that they have no doubt that Heather had been texting behind the wheel when she crashed.
On his blog this week, LaHood writes:
“Recording this video was obviously very painful for Dan and Wendy, and I can’t thank them enough. I hope that everyone who hears their story will remember to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their focus on driving.”
Last year, the DOL and State Patrol also featured Heather’s story in their efforts to inform the public about a new state law that makes the illegal use of a cell phone while driving a primary offense.