New video about fatal crash aims to discourage distracted driving
DES MOINES — A new video being released by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau features the family of two Iowans who were killed seven years ago by a distracted driver in a Webster County crash.
The wreck in May of 2015 took the lives of 56-year-old David Castenson of Harcourt and his mother, 85-year-old Velma Castenson of Dayton. State Patrol Sergeant Alex Dinkla says the video is important for all motorists to watch.
Dinkla says, “Our Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau has brought back to life that story so that we can bring awareness to the tragic realities of people using cell phones while driving, and driving while distracted.” The video is filled with emotion and shows the far-reaching impact that can result from a single, dangerous mistake.
“I don’t know who can’t watch that video, that seven-minute video, and doesn’t have a few strings pulled at their hearts,” he says. “It’s a tragic loss of a dad, of a husband, a grandma and a mother, because somebody was using a cell phone and looking at a message.”
In 2017, the driver of the vehicle that killed the two was sentenced to probation after being convicted of vehicular homicide. Dinkla says it was the first case of its kind to be prosecuted in Iowa for distracted driving with a cell phone.
“Put that phone down,” Dinkla says. “Your life, other people’s lives have now changed because of a simple text, call, Facebook message, whatever it may be that didn’t need to be looked at.”
In the video, Kristi Castenson, David’s widow, says her husband was very special to the lives of their children.
“The impact that he had on the kids, classmates of the kids saying, ‘You know, Dave was at every game,’” she says. “He was always there to support us, but all that was taken away in one split second that somebody wasn’t paying attention.”
The video is posted on YouTube and on the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau Facebook page.