Path Home Shows 2015 Show Archive February 2015 Show 1508 Texting Tragedy

Texting Tragedy

Students in Generation tXt urge lawmakers to change Oklahoma’s texting laws.
Texting Tragedy

Texting Tragedy

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Generation tXt


State of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Filmmakers Win National Award

2015 Committee Testimony on Texting and Driving

Show Details

Show 1508: Texting Tragedy
Air Date: February 22, 2015



Rob McClendon: Joining me now is our Courtney Maye.

Courtney Maye: Like many student organizations, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, known as FCCLA, pass their officers’ jackets down from one generation to the next, and inside the pocket of one jacket, a reminder of the tragic cost of texting and driving.

Gabriella Cutruzzula: Um, do you want me to read a few?

Courtney: A note from an adviser about a life cut short. An accident that was 100 percent preventable, a text message that could have waited, yet an innocent 18-year-old’s life is gone.

Cutruzzula: Oklahoma FCCLA was devastated this past year when we found out that Heather Hickman was killed in a car crash due to someone texting and driving.

Male announcer: From Dibble High School is Heather Hickman.

Courtney: Heather served as the state vice president of STAR Events for Oklahoma FCCLA. And the organization’s tradition of passing down blazers has never meant more. Gabriella wears Heather’s former blazer with pride.

Cutruzzula: I just happened to get Heather Hickman’s blazer.

Courtney: Gabriella Cutruzzula is the Oklahoma FCCLA state vice president of development.

Cutruzzula: As soon as you met her, she touched your heart in like so many ways and, uh, I’m going to start crying now. Um, um, I actually didn’t know Heather as well as I would have liked to, but I met her this past summer when I was just a little dot camper, and she was like one of the first people to say, “Hi, what is your name? How are you?” Umm, yeah.

Courtney: In an effort to save lives like Heather’s, Oklahoma FCCLA is starting a safe driving campaign.

Cutruzzula: This year we began what we call the Oklahoma Challenge and it is to, our goal is to reduce distracted driving and promote traffic safety.

Courtney: A goal leading Gabriella to the state Capitol where new safe driving legislation, if implemented, would add specifics to the vague distracted driving law now in place. Sen. Ron Sharp.

Ron Sharp: People are losing their lives. There’s tremendous financial problems with auto accidents. You don’t want to be driving down I-40 and come to a complete stop, and you’re praying to God that the person behind you is not texting or emailing or talking on their telephone.

Courtney: Promoting safe driving while wearing a meaningful blazer and carrying a letter filled with encouragement from Heather’s adviser.

Cutruzzula: I’m so proud that Oklahoma FCCLA has had the confidence to elect you. Even though I do not know who you are, please know that I am praying for you and sending you the same happy thoughts I did to my sweet Heather.

Courtney: An organization that will always remember, a life that will never be forgotten, a legacy that will live on.

Courtney: Throughout the month of February, members of FCCLA held texting and driving workshops in honor of Heather.

Rob: All right. Thank you so much, Courtney.

Courtney: You’re welcome, Rob.

Rob: Now, if you would like to learn more about this issue, we have links to an award-winning, student-produced video on texting and driving as well as some of the committee testimony along with some links to the teen led movement of Generation tXt, all on our website at