A Marianna woman is trying to turn a tragic situation into a positive one after her stepfather dies in a four car collision in Jackson County last Wednesday. After looking at the victim's cell phone, it's believed a text message he sent while driving was the reason behind the crash. It's a message his stepdaughter, Angela Clark, says could've waited.
49 year old Alan "Buddah" Vasquez was traveling back home to Dothan from Marianna last Wednesday when his life was suddenly taken away from him. The timestamp of the last text message Vasquez sent matches the time of the accident.
Clark calls Vasquez's death an "involuntary suicide." She says texting and driving is something he could've prevented. It [a text message] can wait," says Clark.
Vasquez isn't Clark's biological father but Clark didn't really consider him her step-father either. "My step dad, Alan, he's not my step dad, he's my dad, he's the only one that's ever really been there for me," says Clark.
Clark says she doesn't want anybody else to go have to go through this. "There are more important things in life than responding to a text message," says Clark, who is now taking action. She had her fathers vehicle which was involved in the crash, now parked in front of the Jackson County Sheriffs Office off Highway 90 with a message for drivers to read as they drive by: 'Texting and Driving Kills.'"You can be a 16 year-old inexperienced driver or you can be a 49 year-old experienced driver, says Clarke. "You're not invincible, it doesn't discriminate."
Clark admits to texting and driving herself but says she will never do it again and hopes others will vow to do the same. "If you feel the need to respond to a text message, you could end up like my dad."