US Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
www.dot.gov/briefing-room.html

DOT 131-11
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Contact: Justine Adelizzi
Tel: (202) 366-4570

U.S. Department of Transportation Releases New "Faces of Distracted Driving" Video
9-Year-Old Erica Forney of Fort Collins, Colorado, Remembered By Her Mother Shelley

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today released the latest video in the U.S. Department of Transportation's "Faces of Distracted Driving" series, featuring the story of Erica Forney from Fort Collins, Colorado.

WATCH: "Erica Forney, 9" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MKVtsLkGOc

On November 25, 2008, 9-year-old Erica Forney was riding her bike just steps from her home. A neighbor, who was driving an SUV at 25 miles per hour, looked down at her cell phone as she finished a call and never saw the child in her path. Erica was struck and thrown 15 feet, landing on her neck. She died two days later on Thanksgiving Day.

"Erica Forney was a vibrant and funny young girl with a bright future ahead of her - a future that was cut tragically short because of distracted driving," said Secretary LaHood. "I hope that everyone who hears her story will remember to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their focus on driving."

"Distracted driving just isn't worth it. It wasn't worth my daughter's life," said Shelley Forney. "If you choose to text or take a phone call behind the wheel, you're playing Russian roulette with your life and other people's lives on the road."

"Faces of Distracted Driving" is a video series that raises awareness about the potentially tragic consequences of texting and cell phone use while driving by sharing the stories of family members who have lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes. In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. The series is part of Secretary LaHood's effort to raise greater awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

WATCH: "Faces of Distracted Driving" - www.distraction.gov/content/faces

The U.S. Department of Transportation encourages anyone who would like to share their distracted driving experiences to email: faces@distraction.gov.

To learn more about USDOT's efforts to stop distracted driving, please visit http://www.distraction.gov.