Reggie Shaw’s Story: The Results of Texting and Driving

 Remorse and regrets are common feelings among texting and driving offenders whose lack of attention resulted in the loss of lives, shattered dreams, physical impairment and heartache. Is that text message more important than the lives that will be changed forever after one second of distracted driving? Maybe it was important for that driver at that time, but after the accident, the offender would often come to the realization that the text was not worth the consequences.

Reggie Shaw, shown in the picture on the right, is one of the people who learned the consequences of texting and driving the hard way. He now travels around Utah to inform people about what could happen if one chooses to text and drive.

According to the accounts, Shaw was on his way to work from Tremonton to Logan the morning of September 22, 2006.  He was driving on State Route 30 in Cache County while texting and reading messages on his cell phone. The next moment, he went across the center line and clipped another car forcing it into a spin. The car was then hit by a truck that plowed it off the road. The occupants of the car were identified as Keith O’Dell, 50, and James Furfaro, 38, both of whom passed away that day.

Reggie Shaw admitted that his actions were inexcusable and that he considered himself selfish. He stated that he thinks about his mistake daily. Megan, the daughter of one of the victims, learned to forgive Shaw for the accident and Shaw built a friendship with her. From her, he learned what a family member of texting and driving victim undergoes on a regular basis.

Those It Hurts

The family left behind are forced to endure the pain and the heartache left by the absence of a loved one taken from them. Megan told him once that her father was not able to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day because Shaw took her father away from her. Megan chose to forgive Reggie Shaw because she believes that rather than live a life of resentment, her father would rather have her forgive Reggie. Reggie was thankful for Megan’s forgiveness and decided to live the life of a spokesman against texting and driving.

The Full Story

The AT&T documentary on the pitfalls of texting and driving featured on YouTube is worth watching.  More extensive than the short clip posted at the beginning of this article, the full documentary features Reggie Shaw together with other victims and offender. The film was aptly titled “From One Second to the Next” and is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog. It is heart-wrenching to hear a mother, whose son depends entirely upon a ventilator, talk about his dreams of being an athlete. The son can no longer run and play and is forever tied to a wheelchair because one person decided to text and drive.

 

Ken Christensen
Partner, Founder at Christensen & Hymas
Ken Christensen is the founding partner of Christensen & Hymas. He is an avid cyclist, loves baseball, and enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors.

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