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Police say woman sent text message prior to fatal wreck, unable to verify ‘Happy’ Facebook post

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sanford3HIGH POINT, N.C. — High Point Police said Tuesday an investigation has revealed 32-year-old Courtney Ann Sanford sent a text message “immediately prior” to a fatal wreck on Business I-85 on April 24, however they were unable to verify that she posted to Facebook prior to the wreck.

The wreck happened on April 24 on Business 85 in High Point. Investigators say Sanford crossed the median and crashed head-on into a truck.

Sanford died at the scene.

2f fbOn April 25, investigators said some of Sanford’s friends and family told them about a Facebook post that Sanford made around the same time as the crash. Investigators initially said the Facebook post was made seconds before the crash.

“The Facebook text happened at 8:33 a.m. We got the call on the wreck at 8:34 a.m.,” Lt. Chris Weisner said on April 24.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, police said the initial reports of a Facebook post and selfies being posted from the moving vehicle immediately prior to the accident “could not be validated by our investigation.”

A screenshot of Sanford's Facebook post (with her photo removed).

A screenshot of Sanford’s Facebook post (with her photo removed).

A friend of Sanford sent WGHP a screenshot of the Facebook post on April 25 that read: “The happy song makes me HAPPY!”

Police did indicate why they were unable to validate the Facebook post.

Police said evidence from the phone “indicates the victim initiated a text message immediately prior to the accident.” The cause of the accident has been determined to be “distracted driving.”

4 fbThe collision caused the truck to run off the road and hit a tree, police said. Sanford’s car also went off the road and caught fire.

John Wallace Thompson, 73, of Garner, who was driving the truck, wasn’t injured, police said.

Sanford was wearing a seatbelt, but it was not being used properly, investigators said.

Laura Fuqua and Liza Palazzi, two of Sanford’s best friends, said she was on her way to a new job as a respiratory therapist and was excited. It was just her third day.

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

sanford2Palazzi 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.


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