Teen swears off texting while driving after near death crash

DAINGERFIELD, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

DAINGERFIELD, TX (KLTV) - One moment she was texting while driving, the next she was being airlifted to a hospital.

DPS says, last month, a 16-year-old from Daingerfield was heading along Highway 49 towards Avinger when she overcorrected and flipped her vehicle, all because she was texting and driving.

Tiffanie Hegler, 16, was driving her cousin when in an instant she lost control. Her suburban crunched, after flipping several times.

"The suburban was all over the road like pieces and CD's," said Malisa Harrell, Tiffanie's mother.

Hegler does not remember what happened.

"I was in a helicopter when I woke up," said Hegler.

But her passenger did and says this was the culprit.

"She remembered me texting, going off the road and when I went to correct, I just flipped," said Hegler.

"It was probably the worst phone call I've ever had," said Harrell.

Her mom says Tiffanie was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected. Her passenger who was strapped in, frantically searched for her.

"She could hear Tiffanie moaning but she couldn't find her," said Harrell. "They finally found her in a ditch. Luckily she had landed in mud."

"My leg was hurting, my neck hurt and my head was throbbing," said Hegler.

Hegler suffered a bruised lung, concussion, scrapes and bruises. As a mother of five teenagers Harrell says she has always preached not to drink and drive. But, now they know texting and driving can be just as dangerous.

"Just trying to be real blunt about how blessed they are, not lucky, blessed and that to put their phone away," said Harrell. "It's made us closer and more cautious."

At the young age of 16, Hegler learned a lesson she hopes others will follow.

"Don't text and drive ever, ever again," said Hegler.

Hegler is still driving, but says she was issued four tickets including texting and driving, reckless driving, and speeding.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.