GREELEY, Colo. - Family members of a young Boulder man who died in a car crash last week took a short break from their grief on Thursday, to share important information about what happened. They hope sharing the story will save other lives.
Sharon Heit said her son, Alexander, lost control of his vehicle while texting on his cell phone. His vehicle rolled.
“I can’t bear the thought of anyone else having to go through something like this,” Sharon Heit said. “Please vow never to text and drive.”
Greeley police told 7NEWS that Alex was eastbound on O Street on the northwest side of town in the early evening hours April 3, when he started drifting into the westbound lane.
“Witnesses say he had his head down as he drifted across the line,” said Sgt. Susan West of the Greeley Police Department, “When he over-corrected, he went off the opposite side of the road.”
West said that investigating officers found Heit’s cell phone with an incoming text at 5:16 p.m.
“There was a partial reply typed out that was never sent,” she said.
Heit died shortly after the crash.
His parents and Greeley police are hoping that a photo of the text on his iPhone will serve as a stark reminder to drivers that no text is worth risking your life.
The photo, obtained by 7NEWS, shows Heit was responding to a friend by typing "Sounds good my man, seeya soon" followed by a few random letters. That was the exact moment he crashed.
“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,” Heit’s mom said in a statement via the Police Department. “In honor of Alex’s memory, please do something kind for a stranger who needs help, as Alex always wished for a world where people were kinder to others.”
Family members say Heit had a spotless driving record and was not speeding.
They say he was a kind, gentle person with a quick sense of humor and is missed dearly by those who knew him. They say Alex was studying Audiology at the University of Northern Colorado and planned a career where he could help others.
In Boulder, Heit was a lifeguard at the Parks and Recreation Department, where he once saved a little boy.
He also spent a summer building trails with the Junior Rangers.
Alex graduated, with honors, from Fairview High School in 2009.