Driver in fatal crash may have been texting

Police are looking into whether a 23-year-old woman was texting when her pickup slammed into a truck stopped on Kellogg next to Seneca on Friday afternoon, killing the pickup's driver.

The woman told police she never saw the silver GMC parked on the left side of westbound Kellogg shortly before 2 p.m., Lt. Joe Schroeder of the Accident Follow-up Unit said Monday.

Tusten Edwards, 25, had pulled off next to the concrete barrier in the center median of Kellogg and retrieved a tire on a rim from the inside lane, Schroeder said. The truck extended out into traffic by two or three feet.

He was standing in front of his truck with the tire when his vehicle was hit by the woman's blue Tacoma, Schroeder said. The force of the collision knocked Edwards' truck forward, running him over. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The impact knocked the Tacoma to the right, where it struck a white van. The van veered off Kellogg and down an embankment, but the driver was able to stop just before it reached the access road linking Seneca with westbound Kellogg.

The Tacoma driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for evaluation — including collection of a blood sample, according to police records.

Police aren't sure whether she was texting or talking on her cell phone at the time of the collision, Schroeder said.

Edwards had been stopped for a minute or less at the time he was killed.

"Charges could result, depending on the results of the investigation," police Capt. Max Tenbrook said via e-mail.

While he meant well by collecting the debris, what Edwards did was "extremely dangerous," Schroeder said.

The proper response in such a circumstance is to call 911 to report the debris. Officers converge on the scene and set up a shield vehicle to protect crews removing the debris, Schroeder said.

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