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Miss South Dakota shares loss with America on CBS Early Show

No text message is worth a life.

United States Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced, March 7, the newest addition to the Department of Transportation's "Faces of Distracted Driving" web video series at www.distraction.gov/faces.

Loren Vaillancourt, who has been speaking out against distracted driving throughout her reign as Miss South Dakota, contributed her personal and moving story about the loss of her brother, Kelson, to a distracted driver. She and her story were also featured on the March 7 episode of the CBS Early Show.

Since taking the crown, Vaillancourt has been traveling the state of South Dakota speaking with schools, parent groups and civic organizations about the risks and consequences of distracted driving.

"I am so honored that Kelson's story will be a part of the 'Faces of Distracted Driving' series,' " said Vaillancourt. "State Farm helped me share his story all across South Dakota, and now all of America can hear my family's story about the needless consequences of distracted driving."

LaHood, said, "I applaud Loren for the work she is doing as Miss South Dakota and in conjunction with State Farm to raise awareness about the deadly cost of distracted driving. I hope that everyone who hears Loren speak about the tragic loss of her brother, Kelson, will remember to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel."

State Farm has partnered with Vaillancourt, contributing financial support to her effort and establishing a school grant program in her honor. Terry Barton, vice president for South Dakota for State Farm, said, "State Farm is proud to partner with Loren to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in South Dakota. We appreciate Loren's commitment to educating the public and saving lives by courageously sharing her personal experience."

Learn more about Vaillancourt's work and the grant program at www.statefarm.com/southdakota.