Liz Marks was left blind in one eye, disfigured and severely disabled after causing a car crash while texting at the wheel in April 2012. A popular teen prior to the accident, she has now revealed the loneliness she suffers two and a half years later.
The then 17-year-old woman was driving in St. Michaels, Maryland, when she received a text from her mother, Betty. She automatically looked down at her phone to read the message and moments later she crashed into a tow truck that had stopped in front of her, waiting to turn left. The truck had its left signal on, but Liz wasn’t looking. The girl was taken to the University of Baltimore Shock Trauma Center with serious brain and facial injuries and she remained in intensive care for about a month.
Since then, Liz has had to undergo a number of surgeries, including an 11-hour procedure on her brain, The Star Democrat reports. Yet, two-and-a-half years on, Liz remains blind in one eye, has lost her sense of smell, her hearing is damaged and she is unable to shed tears because of damaged tear ducts. She also cannot fall asleep naturally. Yet, devastating though her physical injuries are, Liz revealed that one of the most traumatizing consequences of the crash was the loss of her friends. She said in a video:
The hardest part about my life after the car accident was the fact that I was alone. Everyone was away at college, I wasn’t. My friends were there for me at first, but after a while they weren’t. I just remember sitting at home, thinking to myself, “I have no-one”.
Before the accident, Liz was a “popular” teenager at St. Michaels High School who went to parties, games, bowling with friends and even did some modeling. But since the crash, she has felt so lonely that she was driven to begging for friends on Facebook. (Scroll down Liz’s Texting & Driving Story.)
1. Liz Marks was driving her Mazda 3 along a road in St Michaels, Maryland, when she looked down at her phone to check a text message from her mother, Betty. Seconds later, she crashed into a tow truck.
2. Before the crash, the former student at St. Michaels High School was a ‘normal’ teenager who went to high school parties, sports games, bowling with friends and even did some modelling (pictured).
3. Ms. Marks (pictured, center, with two friends in 2012) revealed one of the worst consequences of the crash was the loss of her friends. ‘I just remember thinking to myself, “I have no-one”,’ she said.
Her mother, Betty, said:
I looked up on her Facebook page and she said, “can anybody please hang out with me today? I don’t have any friends”. My main worry for Liz as a parent before she started driving was the typical teenage things, the drugs, the alcohol, being safe and hanging around the right sort of kids.
I didn’t think Liz was connected to her mobile phone. I would ask her all the time, “Liz, do you text and drive?”, and she said, “No mom, I swear I don’t”.
4. Ms. Marks, then aged 17, was airlifted to the University of Baltimore Shock Trauma Center with serious brain and facial injuries following the crash, where she remained in intensive care for nearly a month.
5. In subsequent weeks, she was forced to undergo a number of surgeries, including an 11-hour procedure on her brain. Above, rescue workers are pictured at the scene of the crash on St. Michaels Road.
6. Ms. Marks (pictured, left, today) crashed her car after looking at a text from her mother Betty (right).
Betty said she was horrified to discover the “overwhelming devastation” her daughter has faced “over a stupid text” after the crash. Ms. Marks and her mother have created a video with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in which Liz warns others of the dangers of texting and driving, saying:
Don’t text your loved ones when you know they’re driving. It can change their lives forever.
The video has been posted to the department’s YouTube page where it has been viewed more than 3.3 million times. Liz and her mom have also set up a Facebook page, titled “Don’t Text N Drive 4 Liz Marks”.
7. Speaking of life after the crash, Ms. Marks (pictured with a friend in 2012) said: ‘Everyone was away at college, I wasn’t. My friends were there for me at first, but after a while they weren’t’.
8. Ms. Marks, who was later transferred to a rehab center, where she celebrated her 18th birthday and received round-the-clock care, admitted she used her phone constantly while at high school.
9. After the incident, the victim felt so lonely that she was driven to begging for friends on Facebook.
10. Wiping away tears, her mother, Betty (pictured), said: ‘I looked up on her Facebook page and she said, “can anybody please hang out with me today? I don’t have any friends”‘.
11. Ms. Marks crashed into a tow truck driven by 25-year-old Roy Dixon that was stopped on St Michaels Road (pictured) waiting to turn left on to Wales Lane in April 2012. The truck had its left signal turned on.
12. Ms. Marks and her mother created the video with the U.S. Department of TransportationΓÇÖs National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was later posted to the department’s YouTube page.
Here is the video:
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