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Teens learn the dangers of distracted driving

Sunday - 12/2/2012, 3:54pm  ET

Kloehr_wreck.jpg
Amanda Kloehr lost her right eye and had to have 20 surgeries after rear-ending a tractor-trailer t in 2008. (Courtesy of Amanda Kloehr)

Distracted Driving Summit

WTOP's Thomas Warren reports.

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WASHINGTON - Teenagers from around the country are in D.C. this weekend for a summit to help prevent distracted driving deaths.

On Sunday afternoon, personal speeches were given by two teenagers who suffered serious consequences because of distracted driving.

Wil Craig suffered a traumatic brain injury when he friend driving hit a tree while sending a text message.

"I was in a coma for eight weeks, and I was never supposed to walk or talk," says Craig.

Craig is now a teen safety advocate, working with AT&T to stop teenagers from texting and driving.

"My hopes and dreams were just severed by one single text."

They also heard from Amanda Kloehr, who admits she was completely distracted by her cell phone and GPS when she rear-ended a tractor-trailer in June 2008.

She lost her right eye and has steel plates in her face.

"I cannot even begin to get what it feels like to have 20 surgeries to rebuild your face," says Kloehr.

Kloehr is now also a distracted driving awareness advocate.

The teens are canvassing the streets to see the interaction between cars and pedestrians. They'll give their findings to the D.C. Department of Transportation.

The event was organized by Teen Roadway Safety Advocates and is part of the 2012 National Organizations for Youth Safety Teen Distracted Driving Summit.

WTOP's Thomas Warren contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)