ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)— Officials say a teenager remains in critical condition after a one-car accident in New Scotland on Friday.
Sheriff Craig Apple says 19-year-old Faith Prew was driving on Route 32 in New Scotland with her 17-year-old brother Austin in the passenger seat.
Sheriff Apple says the driver admitted to looking down at her phone moments before the crash. “She looked down for a split second, realized she was in oncoming traffic. She was in the wrong lane. Then she over corrected, ends up in a ditch and then over corrects again and spins out and hits a tree. So it only takes a second and it will change your life forever.”
The same day, a state-wide campaign kicked off about the very thing police say caused the accident- distracted driving. The Empty Chair Campaign focuses on preventing poor choices like drinking, texting, and other distractions.
The crash comes just days before the anniversary of another distracted driving incident. Megan Boettner lost her brother Eric to a distracted driving accident in April of 2011.
She says the woman who hit her brother was on her phone and didn’t look up in time. “If she had just looked up a second sooner, she wouldn’t have hit him. A split second can change your entire life.”
Sheriff Apple pleads to drivers to stay off their phones, “Pull off to the side of the road, make a quick call and go on about your business.”
“Nothing is that important and moreover we’re going to be continuing to be very aggressive targeting everybody. Not just kids on their phone but everybody on their phone with distracted driving.”
Sheriff Apple says he is waiting for the results of the accident reconstruction before commenting on any charges the 19-year-old driver may face.