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Church Bus Involved in Fatal Crash with Texting Driver

Video has emerged allegedly showing the moments just prior to a pickup truck slamming into a bus, killing 13 elderly church members earlier this week.

The video includes audio footage of the witness, Jody Cooksler, calling 911, and reporting the driver of the truck was estimated to be traveling at about 80 miles per hour.

Cooksler and his girlfriend followed behind the truck that would eventually crash with the church bus. He reported details about the vehicle and the erratic behavior of the driver, calling on authorities to “… stop this guy.”

Police Arrive Too Late to Prevent Deadly Crash

Police were dispatched, but were unable to get to the driver before he swerved into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with the bus, killing 13 people onboard.

Additional witnesses called 911 following the crash and requested medical care.

Driver Admitted to Texting While Driving

Jack Young, the driver of the truck survived the crash. According to Cooksler, Young, 20 years old, was apologizing at the scene of the crash and admitted he was texting while driving.

Federal investigators have viewed Cooksler’s video and claim they are investigating a variety of contributing factors. They are unsure why the crash was fatal for so many passengers on the bus, since according to NTSB Investigator Jennifer Morrison, most, if not all of the passengers on the bus were wearing seatbelts.

Texting and Driving Common Cause of Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least eight people are killed and 1,161 injured in crashes every day that reportedly involve a distracted driver – someone texting, eating, talking on the phone, or doing anything that takes their attention away from the road.

In 2013, 424,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, an almost 10 percent increase since 2011. That same year, 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,328 in 2012. The increase in these numbers correlates with the increase in the popularity of text messaging – an activity proven to take a driver’s attention away from driving more frequently and for longer periods than other distractions.

Concerns about texting while driving increased so much the last presidential administration issued an executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment. Many states are enacting laws directed at reducing the incidence of texting on the road. Unfortunately, this might not be enough to have a significant impact on the rate of vehicle crashes caused by texting.

At Heavens Law, we’ve represented numerous clients involved in car crashes caused by distracted drivers. We understand what it take to prove a driver’s negligence and we’re able to us technology to prove that someone’s use of their cell phone was involved in causing a crash. If you’ve been injured in an accident and you have proof or believe the other driver was texting, or distracted in any way, we can help. Contact us at 888-897-5377 to schedule a consultation.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted

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