Liz Marks was once one of the most popular and beautiful high-school students in Maryland. She was an aspiring model who loved going out to parties and football games and hanging out with her friends. She thought she was invincible just like any other teenager. But Liz’s life changed in a terrible instant in 2012.
Liz took her eyes off the road while driving to look at a text message on her phone when she was 17 years old. She suddenly crashed her Mazda into a tow truck that was waiting to turn left. Liz miraculously survived the horrifying crash, but her emotional and physical scars will remind her forever.
Things have changed dramatically after spending months to recover in intensive care. The accident left her blind in one eye and permanently scarred both physically and emotionally. The worst part for Liz was watching her friends began to walk away as she felt hopeless and become isolated.
Liz and her mom then made a video about distracted driving in 2014.The video was so powerful that its viewers escalated quickly to millions.
Before the accident, Liz used to be a typical high-school girl who loved to socialize and was addicted to social media. “I used my cell phone every second, every minute, every hour…If I didn’t have my cell phone, I felt lonely,” Liz said. Warnings about texting while driving have reached Liz and her friends before, but she did not mind it, thinking that she’s just like everyone else and that it won’t make any difference. “I thought I was invincible. But clearly, I was completely wrong,” she continued.
Her life has never been the same again because of that one text message. Aside from leaving her blind and scarred the accident caused her to lose her sense of smell and hearing. If that wasn’t enough, she also lost her ability to create tears and to naturally fall asleep.
Betty, her mom, recalls seeing Liz’s post on her Facebook page, “Can anybody please hang out with me today? I don’t have any friends.”
In 2014, Betty and her daughter teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the US Department of Transportation to make a video about distracted driving and shared the event that changed their lives forever.