TUPELO, MS (abc24.com) - A father died at the hands of a distracted driver. 58-year-old Dwight White was killed last year on Highway 78 in Tupelo, Mississippi, rear-ended by an 18-wheeler while the truck's driver was texting.
Both he and white were killed. Now White's two daughters are petitioning a judge to release video of the fatal accident.
Mississippi is one of only eleven states without a law banning talking and texting while driving. Currently only those with learner's permits are banned from using a phone on the road.
The women believe this video will be a powerful tool to change that.
It was last April at 5 o'clock in the morning. Dwight White was stopped in traffic on Highway 78 when he was hit by the 18-wheeler. A camera inside the truck recorded the accident.
"Everybody had their lights on. There were emergency vehicles with flashing lights," described Misty West, White's daughter. She said the truck's driver "never hit his breaks because he was distracted; he had handheld device in front of his face. He never looked up."
White's daughter Sharlene Parrish said, "My dad was crushed between two tractor trailer rigs."
The truck driver and White both died within hours.
"My dad, he suffered," White said.
More than a year later, the sisters are fighting to have the accident video made public.
"We decided something positive had to come out of something negative," Parrish said, "That was our father's motto pretty much."
The main people the sisters want to see it are Mississippi lawmakers. The two think the video could help convince them to ban distracted driving. But the trucking company and family of the driver are fighting the release.
West said, "They're saying it's too graphic, they don't want to release it to us. My sole purpose is not a vendetta; my sole purpose is to save lives with this video."
White's daughters say if they can take a cell phone out of one driver's hands, then it's well worth the fight.
"It's going to hurt me to personally see my daddy in a wreck," Parrish said, "I understand also this has to be done in order to change some laws in Mississippi, also to make some laws in Mississippi because there are none."
No matter the decision, the two believe they're already on the right road. The sisters saved their father's crushed truck, and are using it for a personal campaign against distracted driving.
"Just seeing the truck will make a difference in many people's lives," Parrish tells abc24.com.
"To say, 'Hey take your eyes off the road, and this is what happens,'" West said, "This is the consequence of distracted driving."
West is also writing every member of the state house and senate. "I want everyone to understand how important this is to me."
State lawmakers have debated bills on distracted driving the last three years but none have passed.
A judge will rule on making the video public June 19.