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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Texting driver rams patrol car on Kellogg

BY STAN FINGER
The Wichita Eagle

A man who was texting while driving on Kellogg Wednesday night slammed into the back of a patrol car that had stopped to assist a stranded motorist, authorities said.

The officer would "absolutely" have been killed had he been in the patrol car at the moment of impact, Lt. Doug Nolte said Thursday.

The incident demonstrates why texting while driving is both illegal and dangerous, Nolte said.

The officer had positioned his patrol car 300 feet behind the stalled vehicle and was helping the stranded driver change a tire when the collision occurred about 7:10 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of West Kellogg near West Street.

The patrol car was stopped in an eastbound traffic lane with its emergency lights flashing, Nolte said.

Witnesses told police the driver did not appear to slow down before striking the patrol car at about 60 mph. The collision knocked the patrol car forward about 100 feet and shoved its trunk into the back seat area, Nolte said.

An investigation revealed the 42-year-old driver had a partial text on his cell phone at the time of the collision, Nolte said. He suffered minor injuries but declined treatment.

He was cited for careless driving.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com.

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