Tyler crash victim celebrates TX texting ban

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Layne Callis was 16 years old when she was nearly killed by a woman who was texting while driving.

Callis was on her way to a soccer game, at a complete stop preparing to make a left turn.

"She was going 60 miles an hour texting,” Callis said. “She said she never saw me and she hit the back of my truck. My tailgate was touching my back window."

She said time slowed down during the sheer force of the impact.

"All of the sudden I just remember seeing my hair fly in my face and my hands flew up and all of my windows shattered."

One other moment that night is forever branded into Layne's memory.

"When she opened her car door her cell phone was like this, pressed against her chest because the airbag had pushed it into her,” she said.

The wreck was so extreme, whoever called 911 said Layne was dead.

"All the disks in my lower back were bulging into my spinal cord and the top three vertebrae in my neck were all cracked," she said.

Layne is 23 years old but now has arthritis in her back. Doctors told her eventually she will need a lower back replacement.

She is currently earning a Masters at UT Tyler for Clinical Mental Health Counseling, but she said even that is agonizing.

"I’m in excruciating pain by the time I leave class,” she said. “Just sitting hurts."

She suffers from an extreme fear of driving. Every time she gets in the car, she said she feels sick.

"One text message is going to affect me for the rest of my life," she said. “I wish I could ask her what she was texting, and if it was worth changing my life forever.”

When news of Governor Abbot’s bill broke, she said her Dad texted her at 5 a.m. with a screenshot of the news. Her entire family celebrated a ban that has been pushed by lobbyists for years.

“I’m just glad that I survived and can help tell people how dangerous it is to text while driving,” Callis said.

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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