The photo above serves as a sad reminder of the consequences of texting while driving. The unfinished text, never sent, was typed by 22-year-old Alexander Heit as he was driving through the outskirts of Greeley, Colorado on April 3, 2013.

Before Heit had a chance to finish typing the text, he lost control of his car and it veered off the highway, rolling and flipping until it came to a stop. Police were dispatched to the scene, and Heit was transported by ambulance to North Colorado Medical Center where he died a short time later.

When officers searched the accident scene, they discovered Heit’s cell phone in the vehicle, with the above text message conversation visible on the display screen. According to Greery Police, Heit had a spotless driving record and was not speeding.

The Heit family and Greeley Police Department shared the accident investigation findings in hopes that other families may avoid the tragedy and loss of a beloved family member.

“Please, vow to never, NEVER text and drive. 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,” said Sharon Heit, Alexander Heit’s mom.

In most states, laws have been passed to try and prevent texting while driving – but it’s still happening, and it’s still resulting in tragedy and loss. Hopefully Alex Heit’s story will serve as a learning experience for others. Every time you make the decision to text while driving, you are flirting with the very real risk of serious injury or death. Please remember that no text is more important than your own life or the lives of others.