A 15-year-old was killed in a crash when a California Highway Patrol officer rear-ended the vehicle in which he was a passenger. The collision involved four vehicles, and eight people in total. Weston Sites was the only fatality; he was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the initial investigation, traffic had slowed near a construction zone, but the CHP officer was distracted, possibly by his computer. When the officer looked up, he was unable to stop in time to avoid the vehicle in front of him. He rear-ended a 2013 Hyundai in which Weston was a backseat passenger, pushing the vehicle into two other stopped cars. The 17-year-old driver of the Hyundai and her 14-year-old sister, who was also a passenger, suffered minor injuries. Family members said the teens were on their way to Dutch Bros. Coffee to seek help with fundraising for school. The crash remains under investigation.
Distracted driving is rampant on our roadways, injuring and killing thousands each year. In 2014 alone, over 3,100 people were killed in distracted driving crashes, according the US Department of Transportation. This problem is not limited to one socio-economic group or area of the country. We have all seen teens, businessmen, moms in mini-vans, semi-truck drivers, and police officers distracted in one way or another – talking or texting on the phone, eating, drinking, applying make-up, fidgeting with the radio, looking at a GPS, using a computer, and more. We have seen this behavior in parking lots, neighborhoods, and on major highways. With the ongoing increase of in-vehicle technology and personal electronic devises, the number of injuries and deaths are likely to increase unless we take action now.
We all must do our part to put an end to accidents such as this one. The more we educate, seriously educate, about the dangers of distracted driving, the better chance we have to improve the safety of our roadways.
Lawsuit Financial is vehemently committed to ending distracted driving of any kind. Our hope is that through our writings and supporting organizations such as the Casey Feldman Foundation (CFF), we can help increase public awareness to this dangerous habit. We hope our readers will do the same. Don’t wait for a tragedy to strike your loved one before you take action?
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.