Political Notebook


Adams County texting accident makes national documentary

"I wish so bad that I could go back to that day and change my focus."

Those are the words of Chandler Gerber – a 23-year-old Bluffton man who killed three people when he ran into an Amish buggy while texting and driving last year.

"There's just nothing that important.... Please, please don't do it. Please don't ever text and drive," he said. "It's life. You get one chance and you live with the choices you make."

Gerber's harrowing story is featured in a new documentary about texting and driving.

The accident was in April 2012 when he was 21. He was texting back and forth to his wife. He sent "I love you" and was reading a response when his head snapped up to horror.

"Glass broke and screeching... I saw a body come down from off the top of the van," he said. "I just thought, 'Oh my gosh. What have I done? What have I done?"

He said there was silence when he got out of his vehicle, save for the severely wounded horse moving on the ground.

"I looked in the ditch and there was bodies just laying there," Gerber remembers.

Children ages 3 and 5, as well as a teenager, died in the crash.

He said back then he thought it was no big deal to text and drive. Now he knows better.

A grand jury declined to bring charges in the case. Indiana lawmakers in 2011 banned texting and driving.

Mobile phone companies funded the documentary by filmmaker Werner Herzog, which focused on four texting and driving accidents.

It will be distributed to high schools around the country. The 35-minute film is available at www.itcanwait.com.