St. George woman turns husband’s death into texting and driving message

Posted at 6:38 PM, May 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-07 01:51:14-04

ST. GEORGE, Utah - A St. George woman is using her family's tragedy to encourage others to think twice before using their phone while on the road.

Just over two months ago, Leslee and Dave Henson were running along a St. George road when they were hit by a driver who was texting. Leslee survived, but Dave was killed.

Months later, Leslee is still recovering, and she hopes others will hear her message about the dangers of being on the phone while driving a car.

"I required over 3,000 stitches and staples in my head. I was basically put back together, my head was a jigsaw puzzle," Leslee said.

Leslee and her daughter Hayley Warner have started "Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks," and travel the state urging high school students to pledge to be distraction-free drivers.

"We all get into those bad habits, so we've had some really good response and a lot of encouragement to keep going," Leslee said. "Remind everyone, not just kids, but adults as well to turn off their phones when they get in their cars, and not to drive distracted."

Last month, 50-year-old Aral Lynn Brennan was arrested in connection with the death. She's now charged with automobile homicide, meaning she could spend up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Texting while driving is already against the law in Utah, and a bill passed in January that prohibits those under 18 years old from talking on their phone while driving. Henson wants that law expanded to all drivers.

Henson and Warner are taking the student pledges to Utah legislators this week, asking them to consider making distracted driving laws more strict.

For more on their program, visit