The dangers of driving while talking on a cell phone have been brought to the forefront by a Columbia family’s tragedy. The widow of a cyclist killed by a driver believed to have been talking on her cell phone is speaking out.
Sherri Hoskins says, “There are times I hear the door, and I kinda catch myself, and I think he’s coming in.” And then Hoskins realizes it’s just a dream. But two and a half years ago, it wasn’t. Her 49 year old husband, Tom was always the jokester around her and their three kids. He was giving her a hard time about being the first one to turn 50. She never got her turn to poke fun of him. Hoskins, says, “There was no reason for his time to come.”
Tom and fellow cyclist Lee Ann Barry were killed on the last leg of a charity bike ride in 2007. Sharon King pleaded guilty to reckless driving. According to King’s attorney, she says she was playing with the radio and not on the cell phone at the time of the crash. But Hoskins’ attorneys say they have evidence that disputes that. Hoskins says, “A distracted driver killed my husband.” She has just reached a settlement in a civil case against King, while at the same time, state lawmakers are debating a bill that would ban talking and texting while driving.
Hoskins says, “I understand that people don’t want their rights taken away. That’s not what we’re asking. We’re just asking that we all have the right to live and be safe on the road.” It’s a right she says was taken from her husband. She adds, “There’s no switch that you flip when your husband is killed or your spouse is killed. I don’t know how to turn that switch off. If my words help people to pay attention and not let that happen to another family, then it’s worth all of this.”