This young woman is now using her story in the most positive way possible. Both mom and daughter speak publicly in schools and other venues so that other young people won't make the same tragic mistake. She's making a difference.
In April 2012, then-17-year-old Liz Marks was driving down a road near St. Michaels, Maryland, when she received a text that would change her life forever.
Marks was a popular student and amateur model at the time.
That afternoon, Liz looked down at her cellphone to see a text from Betty, her mother. Within seconds, the 17-year-old crashed her Mazda 3 into a tow truck, leaving her in serious condition.
For nearly a month, Liz spent time in the intensive care unit located at the University of Baltimore Shock Trauma Center to recover from brain and facial injuries. As a result of the crash, Liz's face is permanently scarred, she is blind in one eye, and she can no longer produce tears. On top of it all, she soon saw that her once-reliable friends were no longer there for her.
In late 2014, Liz and Betty told their story in a video for the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Liz and Betty hope that the story of Liz's accident can help deter others from texting while driving.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 9 people are killed each day in accidents involving what they call "distracted driving," which is defined as doing another activity that takes attention away from driving. Additionally, more than 1,153 people are injured daily in distracted-driving-related accidents.