Friends of distracted driver killed on Business 85 last week speak out

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HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Friends of a High Point woman killed in a distracted driving crash have a message for everyone.

"Whether it’s you’re eating your breakfast and drinking your coffee or [have] gone through Bojangles and got your Bo-Berry Biscuit, it doesn’t matter. Anything that takes your eyes and hands off the wheel and the road is a distraction and it's not worth it," says Laura Fuqua, one of Courtney Sanford's best friends.

Sanford was killed last week when she crossed the median on Business 85 and hit a truck head on.

The wreck is being investigated as a distracted driving crash. High Point Police say they were able to trace Sanford’s Facebook posts back to around the time of the crash.

Fuqua and Liza Palazzi are two of Sanford's best friends. They say she was on her way to a new job as a respiratory therapist and was excited. It was just her third day.

"Life is precious and you’re here one minute and gone the next," said Fuqua.

Palazzi and Fuqua want people to understand distracted driving is deadly and needs to stop.

Palazzi teaches middle school and she made sure her students got the message.

"I told [my students], 'This is real life. This happens whether you think it will or not, it happens. It happened to your teacher’s best friend,'" said Palazzi.

The two girls were sorority sisters with Sanford. They say she was faithful, caring and will be missed.

"I have no doubt of where she is. No doubt," said Fuqua.


  • Danny

    Thoughts and prayers for her family and let’s not forget the truck driver. He has to go through the rest of his life Wondering, If I, Should I, Would I, and why did it have to happen on my duty. I honestly don’t know if I could handle being in a wreck and someone loses their life. I, as a driver also, know for a fact, that this accident will haunt him for the rest of his life. Please people, Life is short. We never know when we’re going to take that last breath. Please think before you answer that phone call, text, or reach for that thing. Such a beautiful life has been wasted, over a Facebook post. R I P She will be missed

    • Brian

      My parents were in a head on collision. My father tried to get off the road as much as he could, he could see the driver in his lane…he was at a stop when it happened. The two in the other car died (driver at scene and passenger later at hospital). Even though it wasn’t my father’s faught, he did all he could…he saw it on the news and broke down (wondering what if…) and it does take time. So yes, that driver of the truck will live with it, it is so sad. I hate that anything like this has happened. I agree with her friends, it is anything you do…not just texting or updating a fb status, just trying to drink a soda can cause you to be distracted. I pray for all the families.

  • Sad Day

    With smart phones being equipped with GPS, you think a program would disable web or texting options when a certain speed is reached.

    • Trav May

      There are such programs. But, you have to install them, yourself. An employer that I worked for has such a program installed on all of their phones. All functions, except the GPS program, are disabled once the program detects that you are moving faster than 10 mph.

    • Kat

      They weren’t saying drinking coffee or a soda is a problem, they were trying to point out that anything CAN be a problem. If you are distracted, even if it is only for 1 second, then it is a problem. I have been there and done those stupid things that could have caused an accident, I am just thankful that God had his hand on me and this has opened my eyes. RIP Miss Sanford.

    • Lora

      The point that I ( YES ME) was making that ANYTHING that takes your hands coming off of the wheel and your eyes off of the road is a DISTRACTION.

  • carolinaguy1946

    cell phones are great but the people who use them while driving are just like people who drink and drive.

  • FaithC

    I thought she was posting to face book, not eating. Man that is one hard lesson to learn. Happy one second…dead the next.

  • Greg

    GPS disabling exists, but will never be a catch-all as many people who use public transit in major cities will want to be able to use their phones in motion, or even passengers in a car.

    The answer lies in self-awareness and good behavior. Legislation can only go so far and I’m pleased that our state is continuing to crack down on it. If only Courtney had listened, she would still be with us all today. So sad and tragic to lose your life and possibly others by doing something so foolish

  • Sarah

    The two worst swerving, texting drivers I’ve ever witnessed on the road were both men. People are guilty of this across gender lines, thank you.

    • dewey

      the worst i’ve seen thus far has been cops….on the phone….at high speed, always passing on the freeway with no lights or siren on

    • H

      Cops ARE a big problem. One nearly blew me off the road yesterday. He flew up behind me so fast it was like he came from nowhere and I had a split second to try to get off the road. Then he blew through a red light at a busy intersection barely slowing down at all. He could’ve easily killed someone. Even if he was on his way to save someone’s life (which I seriously doubt) is that worth the risk of killing other people on the way. Cops are out of control.

  • Joe

    I see people texting and driving all the time both men and women, please stop people you are going to kill yourself or someone else, put the phone down and enjoy the drive.

  • Jeannie

    My heart breaks for each family member, friend or acquaintance! Life is a miracle each breath in and each breath out! No one should think any different! My son was involved in a horrific crash on the highway while using his phone. He has suffered a very severe traumatic brain injury and it’s an absolute miracle he is alive! Only one in 100 live past the accident with the severity of the injury! He is getting better but it’s along journey and is still in a wheelchair and is mostly unable to move his body. He is 24 and it’s been 15 months since his accident! My message is keep your eyes on the road and never take one second of this life for granted! No distraction is worth the possibility of such a catastrauphic event! This young woman was a woman who loved life and was just doing what we all do and there should be strict laws that are enforced as this is surely a top reason why many accident occur in this day and age. Blessings and prayers!

    • dewey

      ummmmmm, reading is fundamental….the story clearly states that they can trace a post to her Farcebook about the time of the accident…it claims yet another life

  • hns

    Hey Dewey…hope you’ll be reading when the HPPD re release a statement on this. She made a FB post at 8:18 and the accident occurred at 8:34. Don’t believe everything you read. I have her FB post.

    • H

      Well, that’s interesting. When will we hear the real truth? And why would the cops make that up in the first place? I’m asking sincerely – not being a smart***.

  • Laura


    I have the time, date stamped facebook post as well that I have saved to a back up server on the date of the accident to prove the metadata of the post. It is sad that adults are so ignorant and actually believe the first things reported as the gospel truth.

    • Robert B Bracey

      Could it have been that the cell phone dropped to the floor and she was trying to retrievei it when the crash happened? You do not have to be activity using any device to be distracted from your main responsibility when driving. It could have trying to locate the handle on a coffee mug, looking for lipstick/Chapstick, a note with directions, etc. if you are not 100% paying attention to driving, you are being negligent. I am sorry for her lose of life but your time/date data do not mean she was not distracted by using/searching for her phone.

  • SomeGuy

    “Get off that cell phone and drive, if you feel the need to talk pull over to the side, get off that cell phone and drive” Davis Tucker

  • Lf

    I am from Colombia and I have closely followed this unfortunately done and although according to the statement here was an accident by distraction must see this as a message not to drive with distractions , but above all to respect the life of Courtney Sanford may no role an error but that does not entitle the image of this great person but do not know for his friends cute messages disseminated distortion was a very special and valuable woman deserves understand yy especially understand the great pain that her family is living right now I duel a lot to see what this family is going ask in the name of God I we support and do not let anyone else make them feel bad about malicious messages, no one has the right to re take advantage of others’ pain , if someone he committed an error we should not we who judge must look before judging our mistakes and that we as humans should be supportive and give respect and understanding. my condolences and my prayers for the family of Courtney Sanford from Colombia .

  • David

    I see people are claiming the timestamp of the text is sixteen minutes before the crash was called in, not one (meaning the crash called almost simultaneously with the text). Well OK, maybe that’s possible, I guess the next question to ask is, why are her two best friends here perpetuating this supposedly lie. Why would they do that? Sorry, I’ll believe the reporter, the friends, and the police, over a single semi-anonymous person who posts a comment on one article on the internet.

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