Quantcast

Victim warns Vt. teens about dangers of texting while driving - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Victim warns Vt. teens about dangers of texting while driving

Posted: Updated:
COLCHESTER, Vt. - Nearly three years ago, Debbie Drewniak was hit by a car driven by a teen who was texting and driving. It left Drewniak brain damaged and dependent on others to live her life. She was struck by Emma Vieira, who was sentenced to 30 days in jail, probation and community service.

"Using a cellphone while driving was deliberate and intentional. She hit me deliberately and intentionally," Drewniak said.

Drewniak now spreads the word about the dangers of texting and driving. An assembly was held at Colchester High School Friday, alerting young drivers to put the phone down and to keep their eyes on the road. Drewniak, who struggles to speak, needed some help to get her point across. Friend Ellen Sklar read Drewniak's words: "This girl broke nearly every bone in my body including my neck."

Drewniak's life is forever changed by a distracted driver. To prevent tragedies like this from happening again, schools are doing what they can to alert students to the dangers of texting behind the wheel. In addition to the assembly, a demonstration of what can happen when you drive distracted was staged for students. Educators and emergency officials hope the message sinks in.

"I'm in driver's ed right now and they talk a lot about no texting and I'm certainly never going to do that," said James Comi, a student.

At least a couple of students left with something to think about.

"I just got my license and I found it very informative, especially hearing Debbie's story. It makes it more relatable," student Rachel Buckley said.

While Drewniak continues to go through physical and speech therapy, she will remain a part of the "It Can Wait" anti-texting and driving campaign.

"Don't use your cellphone while you're driving. Shut your cellphone off," Drewniak said.

Vermont banned texting while driving in 2010. This week, the Legislature passed a ban on any use of a cellphone while driving. The governor plans to sign it. It's expected to go into effect in October.

Related Stories:

Crash victim joins anti-texting while driving campaign

Texting-while-driving suspect sentenced in crash

Vt. texting-while-driving trial ends in plea deal

Vt. texting while driving case wrapping up

Trial starts for Vt. teen accused of texting-while-driving crash

New charges for teen accused of texting while driving accident

Judge sides with texting teen

No driving for Vt. woman accused in crash

Charges stand in Vt texting and driving case

Colchester teen denies texting while driving

How effective is Vermont's new texting and driving law?

Police: Driver who hit Colchester pedestrian was texting

Colchester crash lands pedestrian in hospital

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    N.H. man killed in Lunenburg crash

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:33:55 GMT
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
    One man is dead following a tractor trailer rollover in Lunenburg.
  • 2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    2 charged with skid-steer joyride on I-89

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 02:15:25 GMT
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
    The theft of some construction vehicles caused chaos on the Interstate this weekend.
  • Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Bike racers wrap up weekend events

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:59:03 GMT
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
    The Green Mountain Stage Race took to the streets of Burlington Monday.
  • Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Allergy sufferers brave ragweed season

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:08:26 GMT
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
    If you're sneezing, your nose is running and you're eyes are itchy once again this year -- you're not alone. Fall pollen counts are peaking in our region and proving tough for allergy sufferers looking to enjoy the outdoors.Despite a spate of heat and humidity, the signs of fall are undeniable. Cooler temperatures and color are on the way. And even though many think of spring as "allergy season" due to tree pollens, this time of year can be particularly tough for allergy sufferers, too -- bec...
  • Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Holiday drivers find lower prices at the pump

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:59:21 GMT
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
    Drivers this holiday weekend found lower gas prices at the pump.
  • Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Sanders addresses Labor Day rally

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:51:52 GMT
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
    Community members gathered in Burlington's Battery Park Monday to celebrate Labor Day -- and hear from Senator Bernie Sanders.Union leaders addressed the importance of employees supporting one another. They also thanked the community for supporting Vermont's unions. Senator Sanders says the holiday is for working people to not only celebrate their gains, but to also address issues facing the working class."There's a lot of work in front of us if we're going to make sure that our kids and our ...
  • Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Authorities seize animals from Santa's Land

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:32:03 GMT
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
    The Windham County Sheriffs Department says it seized multiple animals from the theme park this weekend.
  • Body discovered in Massena

    Body discovered in Massena

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:02 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:02:43 GMT
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
    New York State Police are investigating an unidentified body found in Massena.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.