Text messaging can teach you a lot about life; especially when it’s combined with driving a truck, a car or even a train. Take a walk with me if you will. But first put down the cell phone so you can see what I'm going to show you.


Imagine you’re 16-years old, driving east on Highway 20 in Iowa, the weather is not a factor and you’re in high school. There is a car coming towards you and the driver can’t see what you’re doing. He can see your face, looking down, eyes focused on something of great importance. Well at least important enough to direct your attention away from the road ahead; the same one he’s driving on. What is so important that would direct your attention from the road ahead?


In your hands you hold a cell phone and there are messages going back and forth between you and someone else, the other person can’t see you or what you’re doing but he can probably tell by the cadence of your texting that you’re driving a car while you text responses to them. But there’s a problem.

The other young man texting, the one not driving is having a ball with sending and receiving a message. This is so much fun, isn't it? But suddenly and without any warning the messages being received stop. What the heck happened to my 16-year-old driver friend?


If you want to know the message you send when texting while driving read the story in the Sioux City Journal that describes the 15 days in the hospital, the broken hip and leg along with the year of rehabilitation the other driver endures to get back to square one with work, paying the bills and the pain/suffering he feels on a daily basis.


The other guy, is the one who was hit head-on by your texting buddy as he drove on Iowa’s Highway 20 about two miles south of Schaller, Iowa. Your 16-year-old buddy as he was texting to you crossed the center line and struck Scott E. Trembly Jr.’s car head-on putting him in the hospital. Of course it appears from the story he was working for a year to save money to continue his studies at ISU, so that year delay actually translates into a years delay out of the work force when he should have been enjoying the fruits of his labor.


Maybe you should meet him. He’s only 20 and already endured more medical treatment than most 60-year olds. That broken hip is a problem long term. As he grows old it will probably really become a problem. That’s because the human body breaks down with age. Add scar tissue to the joints, tendons and muscles and aging is more painful, difficult and less enjoyable. Did you know scar tissue doesn’t stretch like normal tissues? It doesn’t and if you walk with Mr. Trembly my guess is you’d know more about that just from talking to him. Perhaps you could drive him to doctor visits. Maybe you should pay his heating bill or make his rent payment. You could have visited him in the Buena Vista County Hospital or when they transferred him to the Hennepin County Hospital in Minneapolis. He’s been bedridden, like a slab on the operating table, in a wheelchair, used a walker and then onto crutches.


If you follow his progress you’d learn a lot more about orthopedic surgery, surgeons, anesthesia, needles, IV’s, rehab, trying to learn to walk, what a broken hip feels like, pain meds and a lot less about texting while driving. Fact is you'd learn a whole lot about real life.


Oh and one more thing. That friend of yours, the one who you’re texting, did you know he had only a broken foot and was sent home from the hospital that night? What were you two talking about that night?

“Heidi Trembly said it will be at least a year before her son completes rehabilitation.”

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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