WATCH ABOVE: The delivery driver says the message was intended to reach one mother from another. Christina Stevens explains.
TORONTO — A delivery driver from the Niagara Region said she posted a message on Facebook as a concerned mother.
Only days later, Sherry Stouth’s warning had been shared nearly 20,000 times, and counting.
Although she said she has seen a lot of dumb moves in the countless kilometres she has logged on the road, Stouth said this latest incident struck a chord.
“No signal and boom all of a sudden there she was,” said Stouth.
A young woman had been parked on the side of the QEW, in Oakville. She was talking on her phone and as soon as she hung up, she immediately pulled out, right in front of Stouth’s truck.
“But she didn’t gain speed. The whole time I’m like c’mon sweetheart, hit the gas, go, c’mon, move, move,” said Stouth. “I’m sitting back there having a heart attack because I’m trying to get the truck to stop.”
At the last second the young woman picked up just enough speed, but the ridiculously close call was etched in Stouth’s mind.
“I was like, I gotta try to let her parents know.”
So Stouth posted a message on Facebook: “If your daughter drives a small black SUV with lots of chrome and licence plate BLMB 5##. Her cell phone almost killed her.”
Confident the young woman’s family would recognize the description, Stouth changed the last two numbers of the license plate to protect the driver from potential road rage from strangers.
Her post also provided a clear idea of just what a near miss it was.
“Long dark hair, slim build, olive complexion… Yup that’s how close I got before the truck stopped.” she wrote.
Stouth hopes the driver’s mother will recognise her, and explain the dangers of her actions. Stouth is worried the message to pull over to talk on the phone has gotten across, but not where to do it safely.
Highway shoulders are for emergencies only, according to police.
“Take the next exit ramp, find a parking lot or a gas station or someplace where you can be out of harms way,” said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, with the OPP.
Stouth has already made a difference.
She has received several messages from parents who saw her post and sat their kids down to chat about it. One dad told her he found out his daughter had been regularly stopping to talk on her cell phone by pulling over on Highway 400.
“He said you might have saved her life,” said Stouth.
She has also reported the incident to police,who have said they are investigating.
Stouth pointed out that if you get a phone call, the person calling you doesn’t want to find out later that call killed you.
“I’m not angry,” said Stough. “Not trying to shame her. Just don’t ever do it again.”