32-year-old Courtney Ann Sanford was the victim of a horrific accident after she crashed her car. “Happy,” Pharrell Williams’ mega-hit song, came on the radio while she was driving, and she couldn’t resist posting a selfie and sharing her love of the song to Facebook.
Unfortunately, it was the last thing Courtney ever did. Instead of pulling over to post the picture and status update, she decided to do it while driving, which led to her Toyota Corolla veering across the center median and into oncoming traffic.
She crashed into a 24,000-pound recycling truck at 45 miles per hour. Her car was thrown off the road, where it crashed into a tree, and then burst into flames.
Courtney died almost instantly. She was a college graduate with two degrees who had a promising career in healthcare, but one bad decision left her grieving parents and brothers having to lay her to rest.
The time of Courtney’s post? 8:33 a.m. The time authorities were notified of a crash? 8:34 a.m.
Officers retrieved her phone from the scene of the crash, where the post, which read “The happy song makes me HAPPY,” was still on the screen.
Police Lieutenant Chris Weisner said that Courtney’s accident was basically exactly like the numerous crashes depicted in those anti-texting public service announcements you see on TV and online.
“We’ve all seen these graphic advertisements on TV, this was real life,” said Weisner.
A video of Weisner’s statements, along with one of these PSA’s, can be seen in the footage below.
Courtney’s accident has received a lot of attention, since it’s one of those things that everyone thinks will never happen to them until it does. Sadly, this type of accident happens entirely too often.
Courtney was in the prime of her life, and had so much ahead of her. Her death wasn’t just tragic, it was easily preventable. There is simply no message or social media update that’s so important that it can’t wait until you can pull over.
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