Text Messaging Driver Kills Bicyclist

A Colorado teenager who was text messaging while driving killed a bicyclist.

Teen in Crash May Have Been Text Messaging (AP)

A 17-year-old likely will face misdemeanor charges after allegedly losing control of his car while text messaging and hitting a bicyclist. The bicyclist, Jim R. Price of Highlands Ranch, died Friday, two days after the accident.

“We do not believe it was an intentional act, but it was inattentiveness to the roadway,” said Lt. Alan Stanton, spokesman for Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. “The investigation showed that he was text-messaging on his cell phone” at the time of the accident, said Stanton.

The driver could face a charge of careless driving resulting in death, Stanton said. Under Colorado law, the teen could face up to a year in prison.

This is, I suspect, a growing trend. It’s bad enough that people drive down the road yapping on their cell phones, paying more attention to their conversations than the other cars on the road. Text messaging is even worse, as it requires that people take their eyes off the road completely in order to read incoming messages and type their responses.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    I wonder why this is only a misdemeanor? The kid was operating a dangerous vehicle with wanton disregard for the consequences of his actions. My hazy recollections of crim law suggest they could charge a felony if they were so inclined.