A deadly highway crash in Missouri last year involved texting and driving. In that incident, a 19-year-old pickup truck driver sent or received 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the crash, according to federal investigators. The driver sent six texts and received five texts, with the last text just before his pickup crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer, beginning a chain collision. The pickup was rear-ended by a school bus, which in turn was rammed by a second school bus. The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured in the Aug. 5, 2010 incident.
Nearly 50 students, mostly members of a high school band from St. James, Mo., were on the buses heading to the Six Flags St. Louis amusement park. The incident was said to be a “big red flag for all drivers.” It’s not possible to know from cell phone records if the driver was typing, reaching for the phone or reading a text at the time of the crash, but it’s clear he was manually, cognitively and visually distracted. The tragic consequences of texting while driving should get the attention of lawmakers around the country.
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