Police: Man distracted by phone crashes pickup into back of parked semi

Cedar City Police vehicle, Cedar City, Utah, April 27, 2019 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A pickup truck driver who police said was distracted by his cellphone crashed into the back of a semitractor-trailer parked on the side of state Route 56 Wednesday morning.

Cedar City Police Lt. Jimmy Roden told Cedar City News the call came in to dispatch shortly after 6:30 a.m.

“There was a semi truck and trailer parked on the side of Highway 56 at about 4400 West,” he said, adding that the vehicle’s driver was inside the cab. “It was out of the travel lane off to the side of the road. There was a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck traveling west. The driver of that Toyota Tacoma was distracted by his cellphone and went off the road.

“When he looked back up, he didn’t have time to stop. Although he did try to stop, he went into the rear of the semi truck trailer.”

The adult male driver of the Toyota pickup was evaluated for possible minor injuries at the scene, but Roden said the man was not transported to the hospital. The man had been wearing his seatbelt and the vehicle’s airbags deployed.

The semi driver was not injured in the crash. There were no other occupants in either vehicle.

Roden said the Toyota driver received a citation for driving while distracted.

“As a police department, we urge people to, even when you’re on a highway like that one and it’s 6:30 in the morning and you’re all alone … you still have to be paying attention or else you can run off the road and strike a parked car,” he said.

“Safety is obviously a priority for us and we would want to remind everyone to put down their cellphones and not drive distracted. Driving is a responsibility. You have to be actively engaged in driving and not have other distractions. That’s the key there.”

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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