Mom of toddler hurt in crash speaks out on texting while driving

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, February 10, 2015

ST. PAUL — The mother of a toddler who suffered a severe head injury in a crash near the Twin Cities is asking people to avoid texting while driving.

Kelsey Dyals spoke publicly Monday for the first time since the July accident at a press conference with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Her son, who was 15 months old at the time of the crash in Eagan, was put into a medically induced coma after doctors found bleeding on the right side of his brain.

Dyals said her son is recovering and still taking anti-seizure medication, but said he’s a normal, crazy toddler.

Email newsletter signup

“He overcomes things and bounces back so fast,” Dyals said of her son, who was born prematurely. “It amazes me. It amazed the doctors.”

A 17-year-old girl was charged in October with felony criminal vehicular operation involving gross negligence and misdemeanor careless driving in connection with the crash. Authorities say she told police that she was reading a text message while making a turn and crashed into the car carrying Dyals and her son.

“I just want to get the word out that teenagers think phones are the priority, and they’re not,” Dyals said. “One text message almost killed my son.”

Michael Schneider, the Eagan police officer who cared for Dyals’ son at the crash scene, said people need to hold themselves accountable when it comes to looking at their phones while driving.

“It’s very prevalent. We do our best to enforce it, but it comes down to every individual to make sure they’re doing the right thing,” Schneider said.