Skip to main content

Message from mom of injured toddler: Don't text and drive

  • Author:
  • Updated:

An Eagan woman whose toddler was severely injured in a car accident last summer is pleading with drivers – especially teenagers – to stop texting while they're behind the wheel.

Kelsey Dyals spoke at a news conference Monday with officials from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to call attention to the dangers of distracted driving, the Associated Press reports.

Dyals recalled the accident in July in which her son, Henry, who was then 15 months old, was nearly killed when a car driven by a teenager hit her vehicle head-on at an intersection in Eagan.

The 17-year-old driver admitted to police she was texting on her phone, had her head down and wasn't paying attention when she hit Dyals' car.

The boy, who was buckled into a car seat, suffered a serious head injury and was put into a medically induced coma for a time, Dyals said.

Henry, now 21 months old, is recovering but still requires anti-seizure medication, she said.

This embed is invalid

"I just want to get the word out that teenagers think phones are the priority, and they're not," Dyals said. "One text message almost killed my son."

Dyals acknowledged that she also texted while driving in the past.

"I have, but I won't anymore," she said, according to MPR News.

The 17-year-old was charged with a felony and was to appear in juvenile court late last year. The outcome of the case is not known because juvenile proceedings are closed to the public.

State officials warn that distracted driving is responsible for one out of every four fatal car accidents in Minnesota, and 50 people died last year in such crashes, according to MPR.

According to recent U.S. government statistics, drivers who are younger than 20 make up the largest proportion of distracted drivers compared to other age groups.

About 25 percent of teenagers said they respond to a text message once or more every time they drive.

Next Up

Andrew Luger, former U.S. Attorney of Minnesota

After dozens of arrests, concern over rising 'militaristic' weapons on MN streets

The U.S. Attorney provided an update on the violent crime strategy in collaboration with federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Screen Shot 2022-08-19 at 1.31.41 PM

Outrage after ‘vote with bullets’ remarks from GOP Senate candidate

The candidate's comments were recently brought to light in a video recording.

State Patrol

2 killed after vehicle crosses center line near Silver Lake

A toddler in the vehicle survived the crash.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 4.12.14 PM

The answer to winter woes: St. Paul's upcoming Palm Springs-style supper club

Take a first look at inside the menu at The Apostle Supper Club.

Muhammad Masood

Guilty plea: Ex-Mayo Clinic researcher tried to fly to Syria and fight for ISIS

Muhammad Masood, 30, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man says he was pistol-whipped, robbed at gunpoint by trio

The incident allegedly happened in Brooklyn Park early Friday morning.

Melissa Turtinen - MN State Fair 2021

Is the State Fair heatwave real, or an urban legend?

Sven Sundgaard checks the data behind the notion that the State Fair is Minnesota's 'last summer hurrah.'

Stillwater Prison

Investigation after inmate found dead in cell at Stillwater prison

Drug paraphernalia was found by officers inside the cell.

2 (3)

Focus is on family fitness at this year’s Twin Cities Marathon

Don’t miss out on the running, racing and all the fun things to do for the whole family

Screen Shot 2022-08-18 at 2.29.47 PM

Family's tributes to mother killed by partner in St. Paul murder-suicide

The 30-year-old was killed by her partner, who then killed himself.