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Cell phone use causes vehicle wreck near Baker City

Cell phone use causes vehicle wreck near Baker City

A single vehicle rollover traffic crash was the result of a distracted driver using a cell phone, on Wednesday. Madison Moore, age 21, from Sherwood, Oregon, was westbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 334 on January 15 in a 1999 Toyota Tacoma pickup.

Moore was reportedly distracted while trying to use her cell phone when navigating a right curve when the pickup drifted to the left and collided twice with the center concrete barrier. The pickup rolled once coming to a rest on its wheels. Moore was extracted by responding firefighters and transported to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City. Moore and her passenger, Don Hyrum, age 24, were left with minor injuries for the incident and both were reported to have worn their safety restraints.

PIckup-Crash-2

The crash affected westbound traffic for about two hours due to the contents inside the pickups canopy being strewn across the freeway. Oregon State Police troopers from the Baker City work site responded to the scene. Moore was cited for Unlawful Use of a Mobile Communication Device.

OSP and ODOT remind drivers effective January 1, 2014; Senate Bill 9 changed Oregon’s traffic offense of operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device from a Class D violation to a Class C violation. The minimum fine for a class C violation is $142, and the fine for this offense can be as high as $500. The fine’s increase is aimed at reducing the number of crashes that involve a driver talking on a handheld phone or texting.

According to ODOT, In Oregon from 2009 to 2011, nine people died in crashes involving a driver who was reportedly using a cell phone at the time of the crash, and 673 people have been injured.

Using a cell phone while driving falls under the category of “distracted driving,” and this type of distraction is an increasingly dangerous behavior across the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the U.S. 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011, compared to 3,267 in 2010.



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