Know Allie Estelle White
Allie Estelle White was a beautiful 2-year-old little girl with blonde hair, sparkling light blue eyes, and adorable rosy cheeks with a personality bigger than her tiny little body. She was born on December 8th, 2016 weighing only 6 pounds, 6 ounces, and although she was healthy, she stayed petite. From the time she was born, she brought immense love, laughter, overwhelming joy, and fullness to the White family. She would often loudly sing her favorite Disney songs from Moana or Rapunzel. She loved to climb on the playscape or jump on the trampoline with her brothers and sister. She also had a love for sports like gymnastics and soccer, since she loved watching her brothers play. Her mother would always say that she was “the icing on the cake” because she was their unexpected gift from God that completed their family. She was the light of their lives.
That beautiful light dimmed on Sunday, September 29, 2019, when a woman made the decision to drive distracted, ending Allie’s lifewithin minutes. That morning, the White family went to church together and doted on sweet, little Allie while she was kneeling at the pew, pointing to Jesus, and enjoying lots of hugs and kisses from her mom and dad during the service. Once they got home, the boys started to leave to go to their afternoon soccer games and Allie insisted on going with them while Allie’s older sister and mother went to religious education. Allie couldn’t resist watching her brothers play soccer and wanted to do everything they did. Her Dad arrived at the field and parked his car in the closest possible parking spot, which was just across from the parking spots against the field. His parking spot was right beside a median next to the thoroughfare. Since he was parked at the end of a row of parking spaces, he and the kids could be seen from far away because there were no obstructions. He left the car running with the air conditioner on so he could keep Allie safely in her car seat while he walked the two boys across a small feeder lane to get to the field.
Once safely on the field, he got Allie out of her car seat, put sunscreen on her while standing on the median, and leaned into the car to put the can away. In that split second, Allie saw her brother waving at her from the edge of the field so she started heading in his direction toward the feeder lane. Her dad saw her and tried to grab her because he noticed a car speeding toward their direction from the main road through the parking lot. The woman decided to make a quick turn into the same feeder lane without first looking for pedestrians. Allie stepped off the curb and was hit by the woman’s front fender, knocking her to the ground. Her dad put his hands under her to pick her up out of the way but the woman was going so fast that she ran over Allie with her rear tire before Allie’s dad could get her out of harm’s way.
The woman stopped her car about five feet from where Allie was run over but did not get out of her car until an eye witness screamed at her to get off her cell phone to call 911. The woman had been driving her car while holding her cell phone to her face and was so recklessly distracted that she told police she thought she, “ran over a soccer ball.” She was not looking where she was driving the moment she decided to turn into the feeder street from the thoroughfare. If she had looked before turning, Allie would still be alive with her family today and she would’ve been preparing to celebrate her 3rd birthday a couple of months later. Was that phone call really worth a child’s life? Was it worth devastating a family forever, shattering dreams of a brilliant future, and ending that light that shined so brightly for that family? Though life will never be the same for the White family, Allie’s light is shining again but just in a different way.
Allie’s family created a non-profit called Allie’s Way in her honor to protect other children from distracted drivers by building awareness, advocating for hands-free laws, and encouraging parking lot safety measures like speed bumps, particularly in parks and recreational areas where there are children. They are also promoting Pink Nail Week throughout the year. Drivers paint only 1 fingernail pink as a reminder not to use the cell phone while they’re driving. Allie’s Way announces events like this through social media such as Instagram and Facebook. Allie’s family has already been sharing Allie’s story in front of TXDOT, members of congress, local officials, and surrounding communities.
Now, Allie’s Way is proud to partner with OnMyWay to encourage distraction-free driving. While we can’t bring Allie back, we can strive to protect others from the same fate. So, remember Allie when you have the urge to pick up that cell phone while driving because a phone call or text is not worth a life. Let’s do this Allie’s Way!