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Driver distracted by text causes fatal crash in Montana

There are certain driving behaviors that are universally known to be dangerous. These behaviors include speeding, driving while intoxicated and distracted driving. In many cases, state and federal laws prohibit these behaviors, but that may not always be true, namely when it comes to texting and driving in Montana. And for negligent or reckless drivers, they may not even care if they are breaking a law or not when they engage in dangerous driving. But the fact is that drivers who are unsafe behind the wheel put every other motorist in danger of being injured in a car accident.

A recent car accident in Montana highlights the danger of these behaviors and is a grim reminder of what can happen when a driver engages in all three. 

It was very early in the morning when a woman got in her car to drive home after an evening at a local bar. This was her first bad decision. She was then reportedly speeding down Highway 2 at 2 a.m., which was a second bad decision. But it was the next poor choice that took things from bad to worse.

The woman then allegedly looked down at her phone to read a text message. In the short time she was reading that message, she crashed into a 42-year-old male pedestrian. The woman stopped and got out of her car to see what she had hit, but claims she assumed she had hit a horse and kept driving. Luckily, a traffic stop a short time later put an end to her chain of reckless decisions.

The woman was pulled over by authorities for a traffic violation and they were able to determine that she had been the one who had hit the man about an hour prior to the traffic stop. What, if any, charges she will face remains to be seen.

While it may not be a violation of state law to text and drive in Montana, it is one of the most dangerous behaviors a person can engage in behind the wheel. This can be especially true when a distracted driver is also engaged in other behaviors that are, in fact, against the law such as driving drunk, speeding and leaving the scene of an accident.

Source: KRTV, "Name of victim in fatal crash near Browning released," DaVonte McKenith, Sept. 30, 2013

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