Family's plea: Don't text and drive

THE family of a young woman killed in a car crash near Cobram wants to lead a campaign against texting while driving.

Brooke Richardson, 20, died when her car hit a tree early on Tuesday.

The P-plater’s mobile phone showed she was texting just moments before the accident.

Her mother, Vicki, yesterday said the campaign was a legacy that would befit the young hairdresser’s personality.

“She was always there for the battlers, always willing to help those who needed a hand,” she said.

“A young girl, who had been going through treatment for leukaemia, came into the salon not that long ago — her hair had fallen out.

“Brooke let the young girl shave her head so they could both look the same.

“We think this campaign is something positive that can come out of this tragedy, hopefully save another young life.

“We are all guilty of answering the phone while driving, possibly texting, but that doesn’t make it right.

“It only takes a second for something like this happen.”

Miss Richardson’s funeral, on Wednesday at 4pm, will be held at her former high school 

at Corowa.

Her mum is hoping mourners will wear orange.

“It was Brooke’s fav­ourite colour,” she said yesterday.

“We have already opened up her Facebook page as the start of a campaign to warn people of the danger of using the phone while driving.

“But down the track we want to launch a dedicated website, with an orange ribbon as part of the campaign.

“We will be handing out the ribbons at the funeral.”

Yesterday Sgt Cameron Roberts, of the Wodonga highway patrol, said too many people underestimated the dangers of using the phone when they were driving.

“There are so many people who simply don’t get it,” he said.

“Sadly it takes a tragedy like this to highlight the danger.

“This family should be applauded for being brave enough to speak out; hopefully others will listen.

“We can fine a driver $282, take three demerit points if they are caught, but if they have an accident they risk serious injury, or, tragically in this case, death.

“If someone else in the car dies, the driver is looking at being on far more serious charges.”