Taylor Duley's truck after texting and driving wreck
Drive Alive: Don't Text and Drive
Taylor Duley lost his life while texting and driving in Pine Bluff.
PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - Kayla Taylor doesn't have any siblings, but she's not an "only child." Kayla loster her brother Taylor 3 years ago due to his deadly distracted driving accident.
"You know, it shouldn't even be a problem. People shouldn't be dying because they're texting and driving or they're on their cell phones." says Kayla.
She recalls vividly the day she got the phone call. "At the time we thought he'd had a head-on collision with somebody else. And then I was just standing there thinking, 'You know? My brother was not a very good driver.' He'd had a lot of wrecks and so I just thought it was one of those."
But it wasn't "one of those". It was much worse. She says walking into her parents house was surreal.
Kayla says, "I ran in and grabbed my mom and we cried and I just remember telling her: what do we do now? I don't know what we are supposed to do."
It wasn't until days later that Taylor's mom began looking through his phone records. He was sending 3 different people text messages at once. And receiving phone calls too...he crossed over the yellow line, jumped the ditch and hit a tree.
Through her grieving, Kayla has grown stronger. She has spoken to school groups and wants to do more. She created Drive Alive: Don't Text and Drive. facebook page which has 1100 friends and counting. She says she gets messages of thanks from friends and strangers. She also gets lots of encouragement.
"I'm hoping that I can touch people enough so that they don't HAVE to know what it feels like," says Kayla.
She and her mother also created t-shirts they sell at their restaurant in Pine Bluff and all proceeds are planned to be donated to AR Children's Hospital.
Kayla says, "It kinda alters your whole family. Forever. There's kind a ghost at the table--at Thanksgiving and Christmas? All we have are pictures on the wall. You know? He's never going to get older. It's reality. He lost his life because he was a distracted driver. He was careless. He was on a phone and he died because of it and could have killed somebody else."
A white cross stands in memory of Taylor at the site of his wreck on Hwy 79 in Pine Bluff.