Teen's text to boyfriend was her last before fatal crash
INVERNESS (FOX 13) - A simple text message took the life of 19-year-old Angelina Holloway. Her death is now the focus of a new anti-texting-and-driving campaign in Citrus County.
On April 18, 2016, while driving home, Angelina veered off of the road in Floral City and crashed her car into a tree. She died on impact.
"When I found her phone the next day, it was in the rubble in her car under everything," said her mother, Marvalene Corlett.
Her last text was sent at 2:11 p.m. that day to her boyfriend saying, "I can't wait to see you this weekend!"
At 2:15 p.m., a deputy found Holloway's wrecked car.
"It was devastating because she knew better," said Corlett.
Her daughter had a full life ahead of her. The Citrus High School graduate planned to study psychology at Southeastern University in Lakeland. She had just gotten approved to study abroad.
"She was going to go to Uganda for missionary. She was excited for that, and three days later is when life turned for all of us," said Corlett.
One year after Angelina's death, her mother is helping raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving through a campaign launched by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday called #JustDriveCitrus.
Angelina Holloway's face -- and the text message that took her life -- is what drivers will see along the side of Highway 41 in Inverness through January.
"I want it to hit the heart. I want them to see that it's a reality, that it does happen," said Deputy Michele Tewell, who helped launch the campaign. "It took Angelina's life, but it also impacted her family and all her friends, so it's not worth it."
Deputy Tewell said the annual campaign typically focuses on DUI awareness, but with traffic crashes up by 17 percent this year in Citrus County, she felt it was necessary to incorporate texting and driving awareness as well.
"More people have cellphones than take a drink of alcohol," said Tewell.
Corlett says her daughter always had hopes of helping others as an adult, with plans to one day adopt children from other countries. She said she knows her daughter's death will have a big impact on the entire community.
"She's already changed lives with her friends. A lot of them don't text. They put the phone up and away," added Corlett.