Meet the Family
Seventeen-year-old Alex Brown epitomized the traditional All-American girl: beautiful, smart, vivacious and beloved by everyone who knew her. Tragically, her dreams of a career in broadcast journalism and a life filled with so much promise were cut short. In November 2009, she was killed in a single car accident. Those left behind include Alex’s brave parents and her amazing younger sister. Every day 11 teens lose their lives in accidents resulting from texting while driving. To ensure that no other family suffers such a heartbreaking loss, they turned their tragedy into opportunity. Today, they travel around Texas hauling Alex’s wrecked truck on their flat-bed trailer to local high schools, reminding young people of the dangers of distracted driving. Their goal is simple: they want to save lives.
On November 16, the Brown family — Jeanne, Johnnie Mac and their 12-year-old daughter Katrina, were giving a presentation to area high school students at Seagraves High School in their small hometown of Wellman, Texas (population 300). They told the teen-aged audience about the dangerous consequences that can come from driving while talking on a cell phone, texting-while-driving and riding in a car without a seat belt. Sadly, this family knows their topic too well since losing their loved one, Alex, who was texting-while-driving and not wearing her seatbelt. While Amanda Billings was speaking about the experience of losing her best friend since childhood, she gave a cue and the 600-plus students reached below their seats and lifted up cards that read “Good Morning, Brown Family!” Then, the EM: HE bus rode onto the football field, and the design team jumped out to let this deserving family know that they are the latest recipients of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
The Browns will take a vacation to New York City. Meanwhile, “EM: HE” design team leader Ty Pennington and designers Paige Hemmis, Michael Moloney and Leigh Anne Tuohy, local builder Palm Harbor Homes and community volunteers will build them a real home on a stable foundation.
More About Alex Brown
Students remember Seagraves senior Alex Brown
– KCBD NewsChannel 11, Nov 10, 2009