With the rise of social media and smartphone technology, it’s only natural that the selfie phenomenon came to be. Call it annoying, but many people love to snap photos of themselves and update friends and family with their adventures.

Unfortunately, we’re so focused on ourselves that we often forget to be aware of our surroundings…and that can lead to terrible consequences. For 32-year-old Courtney Ann Sanford, snapping an impromptu selfie while enjoying her favorite song and driving turned out to be a fatal mistake.

Courtney Ann Sanford, a 32-year-old from North Carolina, was so excited when Pharrell William’s massive hit “Happy” came on the radio that she took a selfie and posted it to Facebook while driving.

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It was the last time that anybody would hear from her; the very next moment, her Toyota Corolla veered into oncoming traffic at 45 miles per hour.

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Sadly, Courtney hit a 12-ton recycling truck head-on, throwing her vehicle off the road. The car slammed into a tree and burst into flames.

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Courtney was killed instantly. With her two college degrees and a promising healthcare career, she would have dedicated her life to caring for others. Instead, one wrong decision tragically cut short the life of a rising star.

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The worst part: authorities had gotten word of the crash by 8:34 a.m.—exactly one minute after Courtney posted her status update.

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The post that read “The happy song makes me HAPPY” was still visible on the phone’s screen when the police found it in the wreckage.

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Chris Weisner, the local police lieutenant, compared the accident to the ads seen on television and online warning of the dangers of texting and driving.

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“We’ve all seen these graphic advertisements on TV, this was real life,” he said.


It’s so easy to think “that could never happen to me.” Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents happen every day.

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Perhaps the worst part of this tragedy is that it was so easily preventable.

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Hopefully everyone will learn from this story and keeps themselves safe in the future!

This story is a sad reminder that you should never use your phone while driving. If you really need to send a text, tweet, status update, or anything else that distracts you from the road, keep yourself and others around you safe by pulling over!

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