TORONTO – A 32-year-old woman who died in a car crash seconds after posting Facebook updates serves as a “grim reminder” to pay attention while driving, said local police.
North Carolina resident Courtney Sanford collided head-on with a truck on Thursday morning in High Point, N.C. Investigators were later told by a friend that a Facebook post was made only seconds before.
“The Facebook text happened at 8:33 a.m. We got the call on the wreck at 8:34 a.m.,” High Point police officer Lt. Chris Weisner told Fox’s WGHP TV station. “In a matter of seconds, a life was over just so she could notify some friends that she was happy.”
“As sad as it is, it is a grim reminder for everyone… you just have to pay attention while you are in the car,” Weisner told the local station.
Lieutenant Barry Roberts told Global News there was evidence Sanford had taken pictures of herself or “selfies” while driving, and posted them on social media in the days leading up to the crash.
The truck Sanford hit was forced off the road and hit a tree, but 73-year-old driver John Wallace Thompson was not injured, said police.
Roberts said he hopes this incident reminds people that driving requires full attention.
“There’s no text message, no post, no phone call, no email, anything is as important as you getting wherever you’re going safely,” he said.
Sanford was wearing a seatbelt, but Roberts said the shoulder strap was placed behind her instead of across the front of her body. Though the crash still would have occurred, Roberts said had she been wearing it properly, there’s a “chance” she may still be alive.
As news of the story has spread to various outlets and been shared on social media, Roberts cautions those who make comments online.
“I talked to the family today and … I wish people would just think before they make a comment—that this could’ve been their family member,” he said.
“And I’m sure there are millions of people in this world that will pick up their cell phone and make a text message, make a phone call, take a phone call or even check an email while driving. And just because it hasn’t happened to them yet, they should really have some consideration for the family.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect Sanford was posting pictures of herself while driving in the days before the crash, but not on the day of the crash, as clarified by High Point Police Lieutenant Barry Roberts.
© Shaw Media, 2014