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Local mother shares devastating story to show value in new distracted driving law

A local woman who lost her daughter to distracted driving last year is speaking out about how important the new law is to her.

TRI-CITIES, Wash.-- A local woman who lost her daughter to distracted driving last year is speaking out about how important the new law is to her.

"Every time I tell her story that's a chance to impact one more life," said Shannon Moulton.

That's Shannon Moulton re-told the tragedy of losing her 19-year-old daughter, Alexxyss Therwhanger.

"My world will never be the same. But the plus side is I'm going to make sure she's never forgotten," said Moulton.

Alexxyss died last year in a car crash because she was using her phone behind the wheel.

“It took my daughter being killed for me to realize just how dangerous this is,” said Moulton.

Shannon said she believes if the new law was in place last year, there's a good chance her daughter would still be alive.

"Everyone's guilty of it at some point. This new law makes you re-think it," added Moulton.

Under the new law, it's illegal to hold any electronic device while driving.

Officials said t's a secondary offense if another distraction-like putting on makeup or eating- causes you to veer off of the road or drift into other lanes.

Local police said educating drivers is their biggest goal right now.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reports deaths from distracted driving increased 32 percent from 2014 to 2015.

But, Washington State Patrol told Action News drivers are doing a good job of keeping their hands on the wheel and off their cell phones since the law went into effect just over a week ago.

It's news Shannon is happy to hear because disregarding the law could be the difference between life or death.

"Literally, you blink your eyes and you never open them again. That's how much time it takes to go from going home to your loved ones to not ever going home," said Moulton.

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