‘I watched him getting killed’: Widow warns of texting and driving dangers

A Penticton widow is sharing her devastating story in hopes it will warn drivers not to text behind the wheel.

Linda Ruby’s husband of 44 years, Eric, was just five weeks shy of retiring when he was killed by a distracted driver.

On March 11, 2016, the pair was cycling in Mazatlan, Mexico when both the driver and passenger had their eyes glued to their phones.

“I watched him getting killed and I could count the seconds. It was so slow. When he was in the air, I knew he was dead,” she said.

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“[He] didn’t brake. [He] didn’t swerve. He did not know we were there. He was too busy texting.”

Ruby held onto her husband’s hand for five hours, sitting in devastation on the pavement as officials took evidence.

“I didn’t want to let go because it would be the last time I’d feel him warm,” she said.

The young man who killed her husband won’t be sent behind bars because in Mexico, the victim and their family can choose to pursue charges.

Ruby said the driver had stopped and eventually returned to the scene, admitting his guilt.

She said neither she nor her husband would want to ruin another life.

Eric was a founding member of the Rotary Club in Penticton. Last summer, the pair walked along Main Street informing people of the nearby car show.

On Saturday, instead of directing passersby to the show and shine, she’ll be informing people about the fatal consequences of driver inattention.

“Nobody has the right to take another life. When my kids were learning to drive a car, Eric and I taught them it was a loaded gun and it’s still a loaded gun, only now it has more ammunition in it.”

Linda Ruby holds onto a poster that warns of the dangers of texting and driving.

Jeff Martin/Global News

Linda Ruby holds onto a poster that warns of the dangers of texting and driving.

Jeff Martin/Global News