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September 18, 2018

Viral Collision Video Shows Officer Using Phone While Driving

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Posted in Wisconsin Workers Compensation Related News

Car Accident Lawyer

USA Today is reporting that a collision between a police officer in Missouri and a bicyclist has promoted an investigation thanks to a video of the incident that has now been viewed more than one million times.

Posted on video website YouTube under “Cop Distracted by Phone Hits Me Head On,” the clip gained traction and was widely spread throughout social media. Shot from the point of view of the cyclist, the video shows a police SUV with “Peculiar, MO” lettered on it making a left-hand turn and striking a bicyclist who was stopped at an intersection. After the collision, the cyclist immediately asks the police officer why he was on his phone and why the officer was texting.

The officer responds, saying that it was his fault and he wasn’t paying attention. He denies texting but acknowledges he was using his mobile phone in the clip at the time of the collision. At the end of the video, the bicyclist said he was sore but not seriously hurt and that his bike was likely destroyed.

According to a crash report from the state’s highway patrol division, the crash in Peculiar involved Joseph Fasanello, the cyclist, and Officer Charles Wallace, who was driving an SUV at the time. A local news station positively identified Wallace as the police officer in the clip and Fasanello as the man on the bile. In a recent interview with the same station, the cyclist told the interviewer that the police officer was irresponsible.

Officer Wallace was reportedly suspended but will continue to receive his pay as the highway patrol investigates what happened. Collin Stosberg of the patrol division said that two contributing factors in the accident were the narrowness of the intersection and the fact that Fasanello had stopped past the stop sign. However, the patrol division has also since confirmed that distraction was also a contributing factor in the collision in a post on its official Facebook page.

Distracting driving is a national problem

Driving while distracted is up across the US, with many crashes caused by people texting, using electronic devices or otherwise not paying full attention to the road and the drivers around them. The combination of the rise in the popularity of mobile devices and the added tech features in newer vehicles are two driving forces behind this dangerous trend, and it’s likely to continue to be a problem despite safety and awareness campaigns about distracted driving regularly aimed at the public throughout the nation.

Electronic devices are among the most common sources of distraction in driving, but eating, grooming and adjusting a radio or GPS are also known to distract drivers from the road and their surroundings.

A distracted driver can cause a serious accident with lasting consequences for victims. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, speak to the top auto accident lawyers about your case today. You may be able to receive compensation for your pain, suffering and losses from the accident.

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into distracted driving and auto accident claims.

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