MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For years, Larissa Thompson has been working closely with lawmakers to get the “Hands-Free” law passed in Tennessee.
Even if Memphis police cannot ticket drivers, she hopes people will think twice after hearing her fiance’s story.
Thompson told FOX13 her fiancé was hit by a distracted driver at the corner of Third Street and Western Park Road in 2012. He died just two days later.
“This intersection has some horrible memories for me,” said Thompson. “It’s just a shame that something as simple as a text message resulted in taking his life. It definitely could have waited.”
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Thompson said she still remembers the day she got a phone call from a family member saying the love of her life – Clifton Gibbs, 23 – likely wouldn’t survive after a car accident.
According to Thompson, the woman who caused the initial crash was going 76 miles-per-hour in a 45-miles-per-hour zone while texting on her phone. She hit Clifton’s car head-on, crossing over five lanes of traffic.
Thompson said that caused Clifton’s car to turn around. Then another driver, who she said was talking on his cellphone, hit Clifton head-on.
She is keeping his memory alive by talking to people about the dangers of texting and driving.
Thompson spent several years lobbying in Nashville to get the cellphone law passed. She said she knew her campaigning and outspoken voice was worth it when Tennessee became a hands-free state on Monday.
Thompson started a foundation called "CLIF" that focuses on the dangers of distracted driving.
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