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Police suspect teen was texting in tragic Missouri fatal accident

Distracted driving has been on the radar of traffic safety officials for some time now. Texting behind the wheel has been a hot-button topic throughout the country as our culture tries to find ways to keep drivers, passengers in vehicles, other motorists and pedestrians safe on our roads. Unfortunately, inferences of distracted driving continue to pile up in stories involving car accidents all across the country.

A heartbreaking story from Missouri is making national news after a young driver was killed in a car and truck accident on Missouri Highway 7 last Thursday afternoon. The Harrison High School freshman had just received her driver’s license just four days before the fatal crash. Troopers say that an unsent text message was found on the young woman’s cellphone after the wreck occurred. Authorities believe that the unsent text message at least gives rise to the inference that the teen may have been distracted before the fatal accident.

Authorities say that the 16-year-old honor student pulled out in front of a tractor trailer as she crossed southbound Highway 7 seeking to turn north onto the highway. She reportedly was only a few blocks from home when the semi truck slammed into her car. The car and semi-truck accident proved to be fatal for the honor student.

The story has made its way across the country. However, the tragedy has devastated her family and community in Missouri. Students at her school gathered early in the morning Friday, the day after the crash, to remember their classmate. School officials brought in extra counselors, who were available for students Friday morning after the crash.

Source: New York Daily News, “Missouri town mourns teen who died in crash, cops blame on texting," Michael Walsh, May 18, 2013; The Kansas City Star, “‘Texting was an issue’ in Cass County crash that killed 16-year-old girl,” Eric Adler, May 17, 2013