Father hopes daughter’s story will save others from texting and driving

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL — It’s something many of us have done at one point or another, but a grieving father hopes you’ll never do it again.

A southern Illinois high school student was killed when she crashed while texting and driving in 2015.

A life taken to soon.

Jim Hood said his daughter, Lacy, was a bright child. She was a straight-A student with a promising future.

“I don’t want anybody to have to go through what I’ve been through,”said Hood. “Nobody could wait to see what she was going to do with her life” said Hood.

Her life ended Aug. 21, 2015, when she was driving home at night in Franklin County after getting work done on her truck. She was driving fast, and her truck veered off the side of the road. She over corrected and hit a utility pole. She was just 16 years old.

“They know she was texting right up to the second when she had the wreck,” said Hood.

She was Hood’s only child. He kept her mangled truck — along with his grief — in his garage for years — until now. More than a thousand students will see the truck at Williamson County Traffic Safety Days.

“It’s completely changed my life. I wanted to do something good with the tragedy, and this is the best thing I could think of to do,” said Hood.

While Lacy died behind the wheel of this truck, her story has a life of it’s own. Her father hopes drivers will think of her the next time they pull out their phone while driving.

“She would want this. She would want to save as many lives as she could,” said Hood.

If she can save at least one life, then that’s enough.

Hood said, after this week, he doesn’t want the truck back, and the Illinois State Police is welcome to keep it to share with others. He will not be talking to the kids who will see the truck on Tuesday. He’s letting the truck speak for itself.