Debbie Drewniak lives in Colchester. She was the victim of a texting and driving incident.

Debbie Drewniak lives in Colchester. She was the victim of a texting and driving incident.

Hi! My name is Debbie. I am a texting and driving survivor. As a pedestrian, I was run over by a teenager who was texting and driving. She never took driver’s education. She had been driving for ONLY two months.

I live in a quiet 25 mph residential neighborhood. I was by my mailbox by my house when she ran over me.

Hit from behind, I broke her car windshield. Nearly every bone in my body was broken, including my neck. My pelvis was smashed. If I lived, doctors did not think if I would ever walk again. I was in a coma. She killed my leashed lab. I almost died, but she is really lucky she did not kill me.

She never knew what she hit, until she got out of her car and saw me lying near the road. She never knew I had a leashed dog. He had been flung into a neighbor’s mailbox.

In the hospital for four months, I was in a wheelchair and could not walk. I discovered my dog had been killed. I have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. To this day, I do not remember being run over.

I can live by myself now, but with a lot of help from my family and friends! They do everything for me and bring me everywhere, for everything: shopping, hair cuts, dentist, doctor, yard work.

I will never see right again. I see double, even with glasses. I cannot drive due to vision and brain damages, and the State of Vermont has also revoked my license. I had been driving since I was 15.

Texting and driving has changed lives forever—mine, my family, the girl who ran over me. I do not want this to happen to anyone! I worked a lot and was very active before being run over. Now, I barely leave my house.

I cannot take care of an animal so will never have another one. I will never go for walks, run, hike, bike, boat, or ski again. Living in Vermont, I loved being outdoors! I used the bike path a lot.

This was no accident. Texting and driving is intentional. Texting and driving is deliberate. Texting and driving is AGAINST THE LAW!

She admitted in Vermont State Court to texting and driving. She was convicted of a felony. She was in jail for one month. I will live forever with the result of what she CHOSE to do.

I have lost a lot. Besides physical issues, I have lost my dog, my job, my license, my car, and my social life. I have lost my independence.

When your car is “on,” turn your cell phone “off.” The distractions Just Are Not Worth It!

UVM Medical Center and the Clinical Simulation Laboratory at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM created “TXT U L8R” a unique program designed to discourage individuals from texting while driving. Key elements include a demonstration of an advanced driving simulator, presentation of a realistic trauma scenario, a testimonial from the victim of an accident caused by a teen driver who was texting, and a demonstration of several smartphone apps designed to prevent texting while driving.

Debbie Drewniak lives in Colchester.  She graduated from Colchester High School, holds an A.S. in Accounting from Champlain College, and was employed at IDX/GE Healthcare as an Executive Assistant for the Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources Vice President before being run over due to a driver who was texting and driving.


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