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Driver's cell phone provides clue that determines accident cause

The cause of a traffic accident in which three small children were killed should be a warning to every Californian who insists on keeping tabs on social media while driving. Police were unable to determine the cause of the car crash when it occurred, but investigators visited the site of the collision after the snow melted and found a crucial clue.

The accident happened on a rural highway in western Wisconsin in December 2013. The driver of an automobile carrying four small children crossed the center line and collided with a truck heading in the opposite direction. The driver and her 3-year-old son survived, but her 11-year-old daughter and her two 5-year-old nieces were killed. At the time of the accident, the ground was covered with snow, and investigators were unable to figure out why the accident happened.

A second visit to the scene in April 2014 after the snow had melted provided the answer. Investigators found the driver's cell phone. The phone revealed that the driver had been sending messages on Facebook

Less than two minutes before the accident occurred. The official accident report cited the cell phone use and resulting driver inattention as the causes of the accident. The driver has been charged with three counts of vehicular homicide.

This accident is especially tragic because of the age of the victims, but its cause is not unique. Using a cell phone while driving is extremely distracting and therefore very hazardous. Many states have outlawed the use of cell phones while driving. Any person who has been injured or the family of anyone who has been killed in an accident caused by a distracted driver can seek damages from the driver. The services of an attorney experienced in automobile crashes can be very helpful in conducting a thorough investigation of the accident and building a successful claim for damages.

Source: Cnet, "Driver was on Facebook before crash that killed three, say cops," Chris Matyszczyk, March 8, 2015

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