In March 2013, Leslee and David Henson of St. George, Utah, were taking a morning walk when a stranger’s mistake cost them dearly. Now, their family wants to spread awareness about the dangers of texting while driving in the hopes that no one else suffers from a similar tragedy.
On that fateful morning, the Hensons were victims of a distracted driver. ABC 4 Utah
reports that Carla Brennan, 52, was texting while driving
and rear-ended a vehicle which then hit the couple. Henson died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, while his wife suffered “a broken neck, fractured her lower back and needed more than 5,000 stitches.”
The 57-year-old was a father of three and grandfather of 12, and he and his wife had moved to the neighborhood to enjoy the sunshine and spent more time with their growing family.
Haley Warner, the Hensons’ daughter, recalls to ABC 4 Utah: “All that kept going through my head was ‘because of a text. because of a text.’ Because she was late to work and sent a text and it’s just so sad. That’s really the reason why my dad’s not here and my kids don’t have a grandpa. They lived around the corner from us and we saw him every day. Because of a text. It’s not fair.”
The St. George News
reports that Brennan was sentenced to serve 240 days in jail for her actions, though her initial charge of second-degree felony auto homicide was reduced to a third-degree felony for negligent auto homicide with a plea deal. It was also revealed that Brennan’s car was unregistered and uninsured, and she had been driving in excess of 20 miles per hour over the speed limit.
In the wake of this tragedy, statewide restrictions
passed by the Utah Legislature went into effect in 2014 and strictly prohibit texting while driving — thanks in no small part to the Henson family’s tireless efforts.
For more information and to hear Leslee’s story, please watch the video below. Don’t forget to share the Hensons’ story and spread awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.