One in five car wrecks in Texas are caused by distracted driving. Three years ago, a local mother, Emma Shaffer, and her 12-year-old daughter, Tita, were killed on Highway 377 when another driver who was texting while driving hit them head-on. The distracted driver was also killed, along with her daughter. The text message that resulted in this horrific tragedy was “I’ll see you at the skate park.”
Young Janae Cook, Tita’s best friend, devastated by her friend’s death, made it her mission to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving. Shortly after the accident, she started the Text Free for Tita campaign. Her message, “No text is worth a life. It can wait,” made an immediate impact on the Fort Worth attorneys at Patterson Law Group, and has spread across the globe. In honor of those who suffered such a tremendous loss, and in collaboration with the Cook family, the law firm has founded a bi-annual scholarship, the #TextFreeForTita Scholarship.
“Our heart goes out to the Shaffer family and we want to do everything we can to both honor Tita and her mother and give back to the community they loved so much,” said Travis Patterson, managing partner at Patterson Law Group. “What transpired that night was absolutely terrible. We hope that the scholarship opportunity will raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving among students of all ages.”
The #TextFreeForTita Scholarship calls for students to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving by designing powerful and informative campaign proposals. Submissions may be in any form, including written, graphic, photo or video, and must be shared on social media with the hashtag #TextFreeForTita. Patterson Law Group plans to continue to offer the scholarship every semester for many years to come, and hopes that it will inspire change in the way people drive, all while honoring Tita’s memory.
More information about the #TextFreeForTita Scholarship and submission guidelines can be found at https://pattersonpersonalinjury.com/distracted-driving-scholarship/.