Valley woman speaks out against texting & driving

A Rio Grande Valley family shares their tragic story to make drivers out there aware of the deadly consequences of cell phone use while at the wheel.

"I miss her hugs and she was always saying I love you. If I could just have this one last time, that would be awesome, said Lisa Chapa about her sister of Anna Mendiola Castillo.

In November, Lisa had to bury her sister Anna after the 44-year-old slammed into the back of another vehicle.

"The pain, the suffering that all my family has had to go through, it's just a senseless tragedy that can be avoided if somebody will listen to my story," Chapa said. "If I can change the life of one person, then it's all worth it to my family."

Her story is not one of a drunk driver or road rage, it involves something so many people do behind the wheel.

"She (Anna) was texting about three different people, and she rear-ended a trailer and died instantly," Chapa recalled.

The mother of two was returning to the Valley from a trip to Laredo when her family believes she was looking down at her phone texting and didn't see the vehicle right in front of her.

"There's are no word," Chapa said. "Replaying that in my head, the way my father knew his daughter was dead and wanted us to go to the accident scene and tell him that it wasn't true, and it was very hard for us to tell him that yes, it was true."

Through Lisa's heartache, came a sense of responsibility to spread the message that texting while driving can be deadly.

"As much as we want to avoid the situation, the truth of the matter is, she was texting and driving which was the cause of her death," Chapa said. "It was so tragic and horrific. We all think we're immune. We're just going to send that one text, make that one call, I cannot stress to you how important it is for you to put that phone away."

Chapa and her family are in full support of McAllen's ban on texting while driving.

She hopes her story reaches city leaders in other valley communities, encouraging them to follow suit.