Police: Crash was caused by distraction

BELLEVILLE – Distracted driving was the cause of the fatal crash that occurred on April 15, on state Route 655, according to a report issued by the Mifflin County Regional Police Department.

According to the report, investigation into the crash that claimed the lives of Ciera J. Knode, 19 and Janet C. White, 85, both of Belleville, determined distracted driving to be the cause. According to the report, a review of a cell phone recovered from one of the crash victims showed that text messages were sent and received within seconds to minutes of the time of the collision.

The incident prompted police to encourage drivers to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving.

The report read that if a driver needs to use a communication device, they should pull over before using it.

“Popularity of mobile devices has had some unintended and dangerous consequences,” the report read. “It is known that mobile communications are linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and loss of life. ‘Driving while intexticated’, a new term being used, shows that a vehicle, traveling 55 miles-per-hour, with the operator taking their eyes off the road for five seconds, will travel more than the length of a football field or over 100 yards.”

According to the report, the National Safety Council claims texting while driving causes 1,600,000 accidents per year.