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Fatal text message photo shows student’s final words before car crash

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Text Death

Alexander Heit’s final text message in a photo released by the Greeley, Colo. Police. (Greeley Police via WPIX affiliate KWGN)

It is an absolutely heartbreaking image that shows the last words a Colorado college student typed before he was killed in a car accident.

The parents of 22-year-old Alexander Heit are hoping the release of the jarring image from the April 3 crash in Greeley will raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.

The screen grab from the man’s iPhone shows the boy’s final words: “Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw”

The message ends abruptly in jibberish. It was never sent.

According to the Associated Press, what happened next is terrifying. Heit found himself in the path of oncoming traffic, and as he jerked the wheel drove the car off the road, overturning the vehicle repeatedly. The University of Northern Colorado student died later.

The photo, first published by the Greeley Tribune, was released by police at the parents’ behest in the hopes that it would send a life-saving message to drivers.

“In a split second you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you,” his mother, Sharon Heit, said in a message released by police on her behalf.

The young man, authorities said, had a flawless driving record until the tragedy his parents hope will save lives.

28 comments

  • JohnnyYuma01

    I see it everyday…people talking and texting while driving…I think if laws were stiffer like $500 min. for talking or texting….It's tragic but there are some very stupid people out there…Sorry about their luck>>

  • Jack W.

    Let those in business – and in academia! – who so proudly promoted "the art of multi-tasking" see this sms for the rest of their lives just before they go to sleep – and ponder their priorities!
    Better to have one individual do ONE task satisfactorily than have one individual simultaneously screw up MULTIPLE TASKS, or lose his/her life trying!

    • Lisa Kelin

      What does being in business or academia have to do with this? Most people who are texting are high school and college students sending unimportant messages that cost them their lives, and not people making important business/work decisions via text. I have yet to read an article about the academic scholar who was finalizing his/her book deal via text message when the academic went off the road and killed someone.

      • BB91103

        What does being in high school and college have to do with this as well? I am a working professional and I see adults driving and texting about what I am sure is useless bantering as well. I have been in the finance business for a long time and would say maybe 5-10% of corporate emails and text are about important business decision. Most of it is adult vversion of gossip. Get over yourself.

      • Dde

        That's because the media focus is ON the teenagers and young college students.
        I've seen PLENTY of "professional" men and women with that all-important cellphone up to their faces, blithely chatting away, or pounding out their texts, while mostly ignoring the goings-on outside their own vehicles… hell, I've nearly been HIT by several.
        I think the sentiment that Jack W. is expressing is that businesses and acedemia have promoted the "need" to multitask.
        Think about it; it starts in school, particularly in the higher grades (middle/high), when your classes are separated, each with a different teacher, etc,.
        While I agree with Mr. W., I must admit the merits of multitasking… the trick is knowing WHEN its appropriate, and knowing one's own limits in using such.
        "Man's got to know his limitations."

    • JayStu

      You must have been multitasking when you typed this because it's nonsense. As an academic I continually promote that multitasking is not possible. Academic research is very robust, multitasking is fiction. Your 'insights' are fantasy. Stop texting and commenting. Your thoughts are a wreck.

  • nancy

    Legislature in TX tried to ban texting while driving, but Gov Perry vetoed it. And he wants to run for Pres again!!!!!!

  • pamela colley

    That is why we should listen to text laws, my heart goes out to the family. ,was his own life that could have been saved if he would have had a blue tooth instead of texting, I also hope that this message touches other's lives so that they will not end in the same tragic way, please stop texting while driving ,the life you save maybe your own………and even someone that is an innocent victim ,please think before you pick u to text while you are driving, it is outlawed here in Alabama for that reason……..

  • Alicia

    Everyone always thinks things like this can't happen to them and that they are the exception (better able to text/talk while driving than anyone else). I agree this is such a horrific tragedy and can completely understand why the parents would want to help save other lives. Unfortunately, I don't think making this picture public will do anything except further torture the person who sent the text Alexander Heit was replying to.

  • Sabine

    Sadly people text while driving all the time. People check their iphones, Facebook, text, and call while driving all the time. and it's because they don't care. Obviously that phone and that text and that Facebook message is not only more important than their own lives, but also all the lives they are endangering on the road in the process. I see this constantly, and I drive a lot. Only the other day someone zoomed past me doing about 75mph while scrolling on his iphone! Like I said, I see this a lot, and it's nothing short of a miracle that there are not more accidents and that not more people get killed. The most important thing for people to remember is that car crashes are THE NUMBER ONE cause of death of humans aged 2 to 40. That tells you something. But despite the fact that people know how dangerous it is, they still do it anyways. Which only shows lack of consideration for their own and others' lives. Just wait until those Google glasses come out and watch the car crash deaths go up even more, because then people will be wearing them while driving, and looking at the road with one eye while surfing the web with the other eye. I'm not looking forward to that; it's already bad enough as it is.

  • Lisa Kelin

    It amazes me how many people text and drive. Why don't they just talk on the phone? I simply don't get it.

  • sad

    How on earth…with all the technology today, can't the phone manufactures make phones that lock texting when the GPS is in motion?

    • Tommy

      Sad, that's a really brilliant idea. I think that would be a terrific feature on all phones…. if the GPS is in motion at, say, 5 mph or more, then texting should automatically lock on the phone.

      • Natalie

        Because what if you're a passenger in a vehicle? Ever been on a road trip? Imagine not being able to text or search the internet? I don't think becoming a nanny state is the right answer. There needs to be real consequences like stiff fines, revoking a license, etc. It's more dangerous than drunk driving but the penalties are a joke compared to blowing over .08. Being told that it's dangerous is not enough because everyone always thinks it won't happen to them, or that they are superior to those who can't do two things at once. And a recent study showed that it's actually not teenagers who are the main culprits of texting while driving, but actually adults!! Practice what you preach people!

      • chimom

        ever used a map? Checking your route BEFORE you are in motion works well. Then your passenger can look at a map or directions you have printed. Love the text locking feature, even if you turn it on yourself when you buckle up

      • Horrified

        "Imagine not being able to text or search the internet?

        Imagine that! The horror!
        What DID people do on road trips before texting and the internet?!

  • scott thomas

    I don’t feel the least bit sorry for this guy,everyday I see morons putting MY life in danger because they aren’t watching where they are going,it’s too bad somebody has to die but better him than me,,,,or you!

  • Anne

    Years ago, before texting, I saw a woman reading a book while driving on the Washington Beltway. She was doing 70 mph at the time and in the third lane! (This was before the speed limit was reduced to 55 mph)

  • ATT Cust,

    ATT has that but it is up to you to enroll. When the phone is moving at 20 mph it automatically sends a message to the person contacting you that yuor driving and will get back to them later, it also disables your ability to text.

  • christine

    Why don't we learn from other peoples' mistakes???must we always learn from our own….So sorry for the family…
    Christine

  • guest

    Using cell phones while driving, regardless if its talking or texting, should be banned, and congress should get involved! Too many people are getting hurt and killed!

  • Mark Steves

    Very unfortunate. We all know how dangerous texting while driving could be, we don't have to end up at a tragic accident if only we know responsible driving is. Strictly following the traffic rules is a great start to keep us safe while off the road.

Comments are closed.