Hands free law a win for couple who lost limbs in alleged distracted driving crash

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Tina Smith is thrilled Indiana’s hands-free driving law went into effect July 1. It is a measure she advocated for after she and her husband, Lorin, were hit by an alleged distracted driver in August 2019.

“It really bothered me when I’d see people just like this with their phone in their face driving down the street,” Tina expressed. “I don’t know how many times since my accident did, I almost get sideswiped. I’m hoping that this starts to bring awareness and people will start [saying], ‘okay, it’s a law now, let me put it down.'”

Tina said the woman who hit them as they stood near their motorcycles on the side of the road admitted she glanced down at her passenger’s cell phone just before the crash. The incident left Tina and Lorin without a leg each and other injuries.

The couple shared their story with CBS4 in October as they worked through therapy, one step at a time.

“December of 2019, which was after I saw you, I had to have my leg operated on again, a revision,” Tina explained. “[I] had to go through that, had to learn to walk again cause I had only just started learning to walk with the prosthetics.”
Then in January, Governor Eric Holcomb spoke about Tina and Lorin during his State of the State address.

“Both Tina and Lorin lost a leg in that accident,” Holcomb told the attendees. “Rather than ask “why me?” They immediately asked themselves how they can be part of a solution, and they became advocates from that day on for reducing distracted driving.”

Holcomb joined the pair in support of measures preventing distracted driving.

“Tina and Lorin, we hear you and we’re honored that you’d join us tonight,” Holcomb said during the event.

Today, Tina is encouraged by state lawmakers’ decision to make it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving.

“It just makes us so excited to be able to say we were two of many that were there to testify, and that we made a small impact,” Tina said.

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