TODAY

TODAY   |  April 12, 2013

Mom son’s fatal driving text will warn others

To warn others about the dangers of texting while driving, Colorado mom Sharon Heit is releasing the final text her son was apparently writing when he swerved into oncoming traffic and was killed. NBC’s Tamron Hall reports.

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>>> now we have a heartbreaking new warning about the dangers of texting and driving. we've talked about this so many times. colorado couple who recently lost their son in an accident is releasing a photo of the message their son was texting, typing, shortly before his death. tamron has more on that.

>> 22-year-old alex hyte was on his way to earning a college degree when one bad choice cost him his life. this is a picture of alex hyte's phone and the last text message he never got to send, sounds good my man, see you soon, tw -- and then nothing. he received a text message from his friend and took his eyes off the road to reply.

>> the oncoming driver saw the driver, mr. hyte, look up and jerk the wheel and then the vehicle went off the right-hand side of the road and rolled.

>> hyte was killed when his car flipped down an embankment. alex 's mother, sharon, asks to everyone please, vow to never, never text and drive, that he's the same message at&t is spreading with the phone company 's it can wait campaign. will craig was riding in his car when a driver got into an accident while texting.

>> this is the text message that changed my life forever.

>> reporter: craig suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident. now he travels around the country with at&t about warning others of the dangers of texting and driving.

>> if i can save one life that's all that matters.

>> reporter: in 2009 a virginia tech study you're 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident while texting and driving. recent study of teen drivers reveal 43% of them still do it even though they know it's not safe.

>> any kind of a distraction when you're driving can have deadly or horrible consequences.

>> alex hyte's family was too distraught to talk on camera but want to stress he was not speeding and had an excellent driving record. they hope his death will save the lives of others. highlighted the teen statistic there, adults do the same thing, we take it for granted and some cases even more than teenagers.

>> i can't tell you the number of people i pass on the highway when i'm driving who are looking down, i think maybe even steering with their knees and things like that as they type away.

>> unbelievable and sadly for that family, unfortunately. tamron, thank you.