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Ad shows what distracted driving victims would look like today

Posted: 4:02 PM, Apr 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-30 17:02:57-04

It's one thing to imagine what life might be like, but it's a totally different thing to see it right before your eyes.

"If things had turned out differently," the actor in the ad says. "I don't know. Maybe I'd be married to that girl I was hanging out with freshman year. Life keeps racing forward for everyone except me.

The actor in this new ad is what Caleb Sorohan would have looked like, if he hadn't been killed eight years ago.

His mother, Mandi Sorohan said, "It's almost like Caleb came back to tell people, look this is what I should be doing. But I can't because I was texting and driving."

Sorohan and her family worked with forensic artists and visual effects teams to recreate what her son would look like today. All for a chilling yet powerful ad by AT&T showing the future distracted driving can take away.

"You don't think of all the things that could have happened," Sorohan says. "Never got to happen. So to me I think that's the biggest part of this ad."

Caleb had just finished his first semester of college when he read a text message while driving, veered into oncoming traffic, and hit an SUV head on. He died instantly.

"It happened and he made a terrible mistake," Sorohan says. "And we're just trying to make sure that other people don't make that same mistake because not only could you kill somebody else you could kill yourself."

The ad is a part of AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign, which has inspired nearly 25 million pledges to not drive distracted. Sorohan hopes this will add to that number, and show people this isn't just a teen issue, but an issue for everyone.

"We'll never get to talk to Caleb again," Caleb's brother Griffin shares in a longer version of the ad. "We'll never get to do regular day things with Caleb again."

Caleb's sister also took part; the family is hoping that by doing so, people can see the lives impacted by distracted driving go far beyond their own.

"They should want to come home to the people that they love," Sorohan says. "Every night and they should know how important they are to the people who love them. So don't pick up your phone in the car, just put it down and forget about it until you get to where you're going. Nothing at all that you can do on your phone is worth not coming home to those people."

A message from a future that could have been. That no distraction is worth losing one.

To learn more about the "It Can Wait" campaign and take the pledge, click here .