ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Some 48 people were killed last year because of something most drivers are guilty of – distracted driving.
Distracted driving caused a head-on crash last summer in Eagan. A teenager admitted she was checking a text message when she slammed into a car carrying Kelsey Dyals and her 1-year-old son, Henry.
The little guy took the brunt of that crash, turning his young mom into a spokesperson against something she says she used to do.
As nervous as she was about going public, Dyals was even more determined Monday for people to hear about her crash.
"The smells of the airbags was one of the most intense things of all, and then I turned around to look at Henry, and I noticed he was bleeding from his mouth and then he started crying and in my brain I thought, 'He's gonna be OK,'" she said.
But her boy, who was born a micro-preemie, was in the second fight of his life. He suffered trauma to his brain, the right side was bleeding.
The crash that hurt her son was one of more than 16,000 distracted driving crashes in the state last year.
Donna Berger, the Public Safety Department's director of traffic safety, said that distracted driving is getting to be as dangerous as drinking and driving.
While Henry survived his crash, he's still on seizure meds, and it's not clear how his injuries will affect his development.
What is clear is how they affected his mom.
"I am young and I understand that teenagers think their phone's are their priorities, but it's not, because one text message almost killed my son," Dyals said.
The Department of Public Safety suggests that people turn their phones on silent while driving. They also encourage people not to let their friends text and drive.
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