H-CENTRAL COAST

Nov 19, 2012 8:51 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Texting and driving a deadly combination

The suspect in this month's deadly hit and run in Nipomo posted bail and was released from San Luis Obispo County Jail on Saturday.
That's according to a spokesperson for the District Attorney's Office.
Marie Coyner, 23, of Nipomo was arrested on Tuesday.
She is charged with the hit and run death of 24-year-old Christopher Tietjen, also of Nipomo.
Court documents allege Coyner had been texting when the crash happened.
Today we spoke with a woman who has close ties to the tragedies of texting while driving.
Eilene Okerblom's son, Eric, was killed while riding his bike three years ago, and the driver of the car that hit him was texting at the time.
"It's surreal, you cant really believe that it's happened," says Okerblom. "The words come out of your mouth and you hear it, and its just not believable."

An emotional mother missing her only son. Eilene Okerblom has been through the worst life has to offer, losing her son Eric in 2009 to a driver distracted from the road.

"You know every night my head hits the pillow I still envision him lying on the pavement," says Okerblom. "That's haunting, it never really goes away."

And according to national statistics, neither is the use of cell phones while driving.
In 2011 more than 23 percent of all car accidents involved a mobile phone.
What most people don't realize is just to send a text message your eyes leave the road for five seconds.
To put that in perspective, if you're traveling at fifty five miles per hour, you will cover the entire length of a football field during that time.
Even more alarming is that 77 percent of young adults are very or somewhat confident that they can safely drive while texting.
But Okerblom says no text message could be more important that what she lost that night three years ago.

"I would say to him [Eric] I'm just so sorry that you didn't get to live."

Okerblom and her husband have shared their story all around the state hoping to draw attention to the dangers of this increasing problem.

As for Marie Coyner, she is due back in court for her arraingment two weeks from today.

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