Driving-Texting Near-Tragedy Inspires Run

COCC Student Plans Cross-State Awareness Journey

La PINE, Ore. - Vicki O?Halloran knows the perils of trying to text while behind the wheel all too well. She crashed her car in La Pine in April while checking a text. Now she's hoping to inspire others to put their phones down, by running across the entire state of Oregon.

"A text went off, and I read it, and I looked up -- and there's the end of the road," said O'Halloran said recently, remembering the moment before her crash.

?It (the text) was not important at all. No text is as important as that. No text is,? she said of the message on her phone.

The front of her car is still dented. There's duct tape over the steering wheel where the air bag deployed. Still, O'Halloran walked away from the crash with only minor injuries.

"I realized that I could have killed somebody. Somebody could have been walking. Somebody could have been driving. I could have just smashed right into them," she said.

From what could have been a tragedy, O'Halloran, who is an avid runner, found a cause.

"I will be running from the border of Washington and Oregon to the border of California and Oregon in about 30 days,? she said.

Starting on Aug. 1 near Vancouver and running about 10 miles a day, O'Halloran hopes to inspire people with her long days of endurance.

Her message: Don't text a drive, a message that gained meaning as she slammed on the brakes, a tree in her path.

"I was thinking, I can't imagine how much more that would have been if I had hit and killed a person."

If you want to take a stand against texting and driving, take the text later pledge with NewsChannel 21.

Go to our website at and make an online pledge to text later. Put your phone down, keep your eyes on the road and help us here at NewsChannel 21 to keep our Central Oregon roads safe.

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