Real Life Consequences of Texting While Driving

By Max Resnik

January 28, 2011 Updated Jan 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM EDT

WABASH, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Dangerous driving is often caused by distracted driving. For a Wabash man, it was nearly losing his life to a driver who was texting while driving.

On August 24, 2009, Albert McMillan was driving home from Ivy Tech in Wabash. It was his first day of school after being permanently laid off from his job. While heading home and traveling southbound on State Road 15 in Wabash between Country Road 350 S and 400 S, McMillan was smashed into by a 16-year-old girl.

Mcmillan explains, "She went off the road on the right, came back on, over-corrected and pretty much t-boned me. Spun my car around, embedded it into the side ditch. I was headed back north, and it took firemen over an hour to get me out and I was conscious the whole time I guess."

According to Wabash County Sheriff's Department documents, the 16-year-old girl who slammed into McMillan had been using her cell phone just before the crash. The call came in at 9:04. Her last text message was sent at 8:50. When police arrived on the scene, the girl's text message inbox and outbox had been deleted. Further investigation by the Wabash County Sheriff's Department into phone records would prove that the young driver had been using her cell phone to either text or call around the time of the crash.

Doctors told McMillan's loved ones that he wouldn't make it. They were told to be prepared, that he would die.

By the time McMillan entered rehab he'd had 13 surgeries, been given 91 units of blood and had to fight flesh-eating bacteria. He's spent nearly $1.5 million to save his life. He's given up his home and his Great Danes, which he raised.

Right now, the State of Indiana is considering banning texting while driving. House Bill 1129 could make receiving, typing and transmitting text messages and emails illegal. If the bill passes, drivers can be pulled over for texting and could be subject to a $500 fine. Police could begin monitoring drivers who text on July 1. The bill has passed the House. Currently, it waits a hearing in the Senate, and if it passes the senate, it will be up to Governor Mitch Daniels to sign into law.

McMillan hopes his story can draw attention to how dangerous this driving behavior is. He says, "If it takes your attention away from the road, just for a split second, it's not worth somebody's life over, or putting somebody in so much pain. It's not worth it."

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