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DRIVER KILLED WHILE TEXTING AND COMPUTING AS HE DROVE

Investigators say a driver killed in a two-vehicle accident in Navasota Tuesday morning was texting while driving and using his laptop computer.

"He was on the computer and texting and doing stuff on the palm pilot at the time of the crash,” said Trooper Kenneth Balzekas with DPS. “It was smashed between him and the steering wheel and was still on with partial messaging. He was looking down. That would explain why he never hit the brakes and never steered."

Investigators say the 55-year-old driver, from Katy, slammed into the back of a stopped 18-wheeler. He died on impact.

"Texting while driving, doing stuff like that is almost the same if not worse as an intoxicated motorist,” said Balzekas.

Investigators say his story is all too common. Last year TxDOT reported 361 fatal accidents across the state due to texting while driving.

"You are moving in a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds, and you are moving at hundreds of feet per second, and one little distraction could cost your life,” Balzekas said.

Christine Yager is with the Texas A&M- based Texas Transportation Institute that tackles transportation problems through research.

"It’s a shame to hear that sometimes people choose to participate in something that is distracting, and when it costs their life,” said Yager.

She says in her recent study, one in four drivers on our roads operate their vehicle while being distracted.

Yager says to be safe, she personally never uses any electronic device while driving to prevent tragedies like this from crossing her path.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was taken to a hospital in Navasota with neck pain.

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14 Comments

  1. cb_for_ia

    If you think this is a state or police vehicle you are wrong. This guy worked for a private company verifying inventory for car dealers, tractor companies, etc…not a cop or state worker. Anyone can buy a “police interceptor” package vehicle at any state auction.

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  3. AreYouSerious

    rcbryantjr: It does LOOK like one. And I could’ve been a police vehicle at one time. But these cars get auctioned off eventually. Like Texas Transplant said. It’s not a conspiracy. You’re obviously just looking to start trouble. But I bet you’re the first one yelling for the cops when you’re not able to hide behind your computer.

    admcc56: That’s probably because they are running plates. This allows them to determine if the vehicles registration is expired. Or if it’s stolen. They’re not going to pull over to run your plates because then they’re going to lose sight of the vehicle. Pretty much common sense. Ever officer I know runs a vehicle prior to stopping them. Stop complaining about cops doing their job if you’d just do yours and obey the law. Pretty simple.

  4. texas_transplant

    Where do you think retired police/state vehicles go? They sell them after lights and decals are removed. I have seen many of these types of vehicles owned by the general public including the “interceptor” decal on the vehicle.

  5. Mr. Smartypants

    Distracted by kids? Years ago I drove a bus while I was in college. I did it for 4 years. I drive a truck now, and the fine is $2500 if I am caught texting while driving my rig. Which is more distracting between the two? I say texting. I am constantly observing people weaving in and out of their lane while texting – barely in control. I would like cell phones to have rotory dials.
    As for law enforcement using their equipment: They are trained professionals.

  6. Jamie Nash

    Ya caught us! Its a conspiracy to cover up, but it’s not what you think – there were space aliens involved and the government asked us to keep quiet, but they weren’t counting on the clever readers who stalk the internet! Shhhhhh

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  8. cm3357

    Agreed it wanst a peace office but was type of state vehicle due to the police interceptor package that the car is labeled with

    So I agree why did they leave that part out??

  9. Tiffany Marshall

    Actually rcbryantjr there are many cars that look similar to cop cars..i think you are an idiot!!! you must really have a hate for cops well guess i bet that means your a trouble maker …if you didnt give a cop a reason to pull you over our take you to jail they wouldnt So you deserve what you get be responsible and grow up yes there are cops that break the law but most are protecting us! its ppl like you that break the law and get ppl killed!!!

  10. happycamper

    rcbryantjr…since there a no morons supporting your spew just goes to show that you and your kind protect their own…get a life!!

  11. tam

    Maybe they should outlaw driving with kids in the car…they’re extremely distracting!! We all look away or down for a second, obviously this man’s attention was drawn away for more than a second…

  12. rcbryantjr

    LOOKS like a police vehicle. Why didn’t they mention that? Just goes to show you, cops protect their own! At least he only killed himself and not a car full of kids!

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