CLINTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Seventeen-year-old Maria Droesch was killed in a crash on a Clinton County highway last Monday, but it is what caused the fatal wreck that has her mother on a mission to make sure her daughter didn’t die in vain.
“The rest of her life she had ahead of her, and now it’s gone over a stupid text message,”said Droesch’s mother, Jill Biddle.
Droesch was 10 minutes from her Kirklin home when she decided to text her mother about making plans with friends, but the message was never finished.
Instead, it led to her death.
“Knowing it was the last text she was texting to me, it hurts your heart,” Biddle explained. “I mean, it just pulls it right out of you, knowing that’s the last person she was thinking of. But she should have been paying attention to the road.”
Now all that remains for Biddle, eight haunting words in an incomplete message on her daughter’s phone.
“Just to be taken away that quick,” Biddle added. “Just because you’re texting a message, you know? The phone’s OK. The phone’s fine. She’s not. She’s not here.”
Droesch died after swerving into an oncoming truck on State Road 29 on June 20.
Now, Biddle is wanting to use her daughter’s death to teach others.
“To me, that thing is death,” Biddle said. “It can just take your life away so quick. Just looking down for two seconds just to see who texted you, it’s not important.”
Biddle had the option of salvaging her daughter’s vehicle; instead, she’s going to keep the mangled wreckage and put it on display as an example of the dangers of texting and driving.
“It’s something physical,” Clinton County Coroner Amanda Abbott said. “It’s not just a photo they’re looking at. They can actually walk up to it and physically see it for themselves.”
Abbott teaches the dangers of impaired and distracted driving to high school students around the county.
Last fall, Droesch was one of those students.
Abbott said pictures from crashes caused by distracted driving are used to warn teen drivers of the risks. Now, Abbott and Biddle are raising money to buy a trailer and build a see-through display around the wreckage.
While Biddle mourns the loss of the daughter she said was always wanting to help others, she said this is just one more way Droesch can make a difference.
“If I could save one person from doing that and end up in a wreck and not having to go through what we did, it would comfort me,” explained Biddle. “I think it would comfort her also.”
The goal is to raise enough money to purchase the trailer and display the car at the Clinton County 4-H Fair on July 9.
To make a donation contact Abbott at 765-652-0355 or email email@example.com.
Donations can also be mailed to 1857 S. Jackson St., Frankfort, IN 46041.
Checks can be made payable to: Maria Droesch Texting Awareness.