I want to tell you about my brother, Josh Field. He would be 24 years old right now, but on June 3rd 2009, he was the victim of distracted driving. He was only 17 years old. Josh was driving in the car with his girlfriend when the cell phone he was carrying rang in his pocket. That brief distraction from the road, trying to answer that call resulted in Josh crashing the car. He was rushed to hospital. When we arrived the doctors were working on him. They told us that they were going to do a few more tests to see how Josh’s brain activity was, so we went out of the room and started walking down the hall. We hadn’t made it down the first corridor before a doctor had called us back. He said, “Mr and Mrs Field” and we all turned around. My mom grabbed my hand. The doctor said “I’m sorry but there’s nothing more that we can do” and we all broke down crying.
I remember everything as clear as day up until that moment. After that, it comes back in spurts of memories. The next thing I remember is having our neighbours come to the hospital, having to explain to them what had happened. It was even worse being there when my mom explained to Josh’s girlfriend that she wouldn’t be seeing him anymore.
Our whole community was impacted by Josh’s death. We always hear statistics and facts about distracted driving, but nobody thinks that it will ever happen to them, or to someone close to them, but I can tell you that it really does. I really believe that there is hope. If, one by one, we educate people on the outcome and impact of distracted driving, people will then learn and habits will be broken. We know it’s going to take a long time to get to that point, but every person can make a difference. I don’t want any other family to go through what we’ve been through, it’s the worst thing imaginable to lose a family member. My advice to you is to make smart choices and to think about Josh when you are behind the wheel. It might not only save your life, but save someone you love too.