Paralyzed child and his mother rally against distracted driving

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MILWAUKEE -- A life changing accident that could have been prevented. Seven-year-old Xzavier Davis-Bilbo is paralyzed and will never be able to walk again after being hit by a distracted driver.

His mother Valetta Bradford is just thankful he’s alive, and now she is dedicated to making sure the tragedy that happened to her son never happens to anyone else.

October is the second anniversary of a crash that left Xzavier bound to a wheel chair for life.

It has been a tough two years for Bradford and her son.

“It was heart wrenching when he first tried to open up his eyes then they had to halo him, because if he moves this way then his brain stem is going to sever,” she said.

After going through nine surgeries, young Xzavier finally left the hospital after spending four and a half months in the ICU.

“She struck Xzavier and paralyzed him from the diaphragm down,” added Bradford.

While walking to the park, the child was hit by a woman who was texting and driving, and she dragged him for nearly 20 feet.

In a public service video Bradford said, “Distracted driving is like drunk driving - you can't take your eyes off the road at anytime.”

From public awareness campaigns to rallies in the neighborhood, she is dedicated to stopping texting and cell phone use behind the wheel.

Saturday, she had a bevy of support.

Jennifer Smith, a distracted driving advocate, said, “My mother was killed by a driver who was talking on the cell phone in 2008.”  

Alderman Willie Hines said, “You realize what can happen in a split second if you're behind the driving wheel. When people are driving down the street and not really paying attention but you can change someone’s life forever and you can devastate a family."

The group walked around the six block radius where Xzavier was hit, which is a very dangerous area for pedestrians and drivers. Xzavier led the pack, showing the community firsthand the consequences that can happen from a senseless decision. Prevention is key.

“When we’re driving a car, the only thing we need to do is drive because lives are on the line,” said Smith.

In efforts to continue safe driving practices, a new state law banning teens from using their cell phones while driving will take effect soon. Beginning November 1st, drivers who have a probationary license or instructional permit won't be legally allowed to use a cell phone or text while driving.

1 Comment

  • Raegan

    I am so sorry for your loss! This story, as well as many others, have inspired me to never text and drive again. I’m so glad I was lucky enough to not get in a wreck while texting and I do not want to endanger others anymore.

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