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  • Shannon was my best friend. She was Kimia's best friend too, and Jodi's, and Megan's. She was a "best friend" to so many people. She was our glue.

    I lived with her five times under five different roofs - we just kept coming back for more! I met her while moving into our freshman dorm - 10 years ago!

    Shannon was applying to Phd programs all over the country and I was so upset with the idea I would lose her, that she would move away and leave me in Atlanta without her.

    On January 17th, 2012, two weeks before her 27th birthday, Shannon died in a car accident. She was getting on i-85 Northbound, on her way to her Calculus II class, a prereq for the PhD programs. She had only just started the class - I think it was her 2nd or 3rd time driving there.

    We are not sure what happened. It was raining, and a semi-truck had run out of gas. It was pulled over in the triangular median of the entrance ramp. We know that she had partially enter the name of the school into Google Maps on her iPhone. We can't say for sure that she was fumbling with her phone while getting onto a major interstate in the rain. Shannon was too smart for that. But was know that she was probably in a distracted state, even if she was looking down for just a moment, she had let her guard down, and something unexpected happened in front of her.

    No one blames Shannon. Everyone I have talked to admits to often engaging with their hyper-enabled smart phone while behind the wheel. Everyone thinks that they are a better multitasker and a better driver than most, so the rule should not apply to them.

    Iam asking people to remember Shannon next time you reach for your phone.
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