A number of people were injured in a multivehicle crash in Houston last Friday, and one child was killed. The cause of the accident is alleged to be a “distracted driver.” The words sound innocent enough, but the reality is anything but.

Around 5:40 p.m., a high-traffic time of day, an 18-wheeler plowed into the rear of a Kia Optima. A mother and two children were in the Kia. A boy, aged somewhere between 8 and 10 years old, was in the back seat. According to an officer, the trunk and back seat of the Kia was crushed all the way up to the driver and passenger seat, leaving no chance for the child to survive. The mother and sister of the boy in the Kia suffered injuries and were both life-flighted to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Drivers from two additional vehicles — results of a chain reaction from the first hit — were transported to the hospital also.

One of the troopers at the scene said the truck driver didn’t have a chance to use his brakes because he was distracted, allegedly by something in his truck. According to investigators, he appeared very distraught. While no charges were yet filed, a blood test for intoxication is very likely.

Distracted driving has become a serious charge since the days of cellphones, although it has probably been around long before and was every bit as serious. Nevertheless, the age of cellphones has brought the seriousness of this violation to the forefront. Proven over and over again, it takes only a few seconds of not paying attention to driving for an accident to occur. If the truck driver in this accident is cited and found guilty, he could be facing charges of manslaughter, as well as personal injury lawsuits, which could even include a wrongful death suit.

Source: ABC 13 Eyewitness News, “Fatal multi-vehicle wreck shuts down 290 at Grand Parkway,” accessed Nov. 14, 2017