Idaho Family’s Fight To Educate Others After Their Daughter Dies While Texting and Driving
Taylor Sauer was a vivacious teen who made the decision to text and drive. It cost her life and has led her family on a crusade to educate others about the dire consequences of distracted driving.
Taylor's mother, Shauna, explained to us what her family was like prior to the accident.
Shauna Sauer: My husband, Clay, and I have 5 kids. And, so, we're really busy with all of them. Our 3 oldest were in college and living their lives, but still very involved with our home life. We talk to them on a regular basis...we're a close-knit bunch. We would rather sit and around and play games together, watch a movie together than hang out with friends.
Shauna then described her daughter, Taylor.
Shauna Sauer: Taylor was just full of life. Everything she did was huge and it was on extremes. So, if it was super-duper happy, then it was extreme super-duper happy. If was super-sad, it was extreme on that end, too...She was a perfectionist. Everything she did was just big, life of the party. Kids always wanted to be around her.
The night of Taylor's accident brought a shocking realization to Shauna and her family.
Shauna Sauer: We knew that she wanted to go watch her boyfriend wrestle. He was still in high school. And, she was going to school at Utah State in Logan...I said just tell me if you're coming. Let me know so I know that you're on the road. We had touched base. I knew she was coming down to Wendell to watch him wrestle.
Shauna tried to convince Taylor to not come on home after the wrestling match, but gave up after Taylor convinced her dad that she could come. Shauna stayed in touch with Taylor as the day went on.
Shauna Sauer: Throughout the day, I touched base with her. What are you guys doing? She said we watched the wrestling, then they went to the mall...knowing that she was going to be coming home, and that night, it had been a long day for me with doing this project. We knew she'd be home around 10:30. And, right before that, I decided that I couldn't stay up any later. I'm just exhausted. So, I went to get in bed. And, my husband came to get in bed.
Then, the doorbell rang. Shauna's husband answered the door and saw the vehicle in the driveway had the word "CORONER" on the side of it. The lady mispronounced his name, so he was convinced she had the wrong house. When she asked if he was Taylor's dad, it was at that moment that Shauna knew Taylor had been killed.
Shauna Sauer: "My husband let out a blood-curdling scream. And, I was laying in bed and the minute I heard it, I knew that Taylor had been killed. I just sat there. You just go numb."
Shauna and her family learned that night that Taylor's phone had been involved in her crash. They originally thought one of Taylor's friends may have been in the vehicle with her, but fortunately they learned Taylor had taken her friend back to Utah before trying to come back home.
That night happened more than 5 years ago, yet the pain continues to resonate with the Sauer family. They have bravely used Taylor's accident as a teachable moment for other teens (and adults). Shauna, her husband and kids have all appeared at schools and even The Today Show to tell Taylor's story and warn others of the pain that can come from just one moment of texting and driving.
Shauna explains the brutal reality that you have to live with.
Shauna Sauer: They're there one minute...and then they're gone.
For more information about Taylor Sauer, you can visit their website at TaylorsCorner.org.