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Distracted driving suspected in fatal accident

Distracted driving has become such a national safety issue, that some people may wonder why so many drivers still use their cell phones while behind the wheel. After all, more than 30 states, including Arizona, have enacted laws banning the use cell phones by drivers (especially texting and driving). However, distracted driving still happens, and it can result in horrific accidents.

A recent accident in central California town of Lodi exemplifies this trend. Five people were killed by the driver of an SUV who was allegedly speeding and talking on his cell phone. According to an AZFamily.com report, the SUV allegedly sped through an intersection and crashed into an extended-cab pickup that carried a man, three children, and a pregnant woman.

The driver of the SUV was taken to the hospital, and is expected to recover from injuries suffered.

Police had few details to share about the crash since it was still under investigation. However, several witnesses reported that they saw the SUV driving erratically and nearly hitting several vehicles before the crash.

In the meantime, the driver could be charged with a crime depending on additional information that may come out of the investigation. There is no information available indicating whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If so, a criminal conviction could serve as evidence in a civil matter (specifically a wrongful death suit) to prove that the driver failed to use reasonable care while operating a motor vehicle, and that such a failure was the proximate cause of the family's death.

Source: AZFamily.com, Police: 5 people killed in Calif. crash, October 23, 2013

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