September 20, 2014

Teen killed in Cedar County crash may have been texting while driving

Investigators say it appears a teenage driver who was killed in a car accident last week in eastern Iowa was writing a text message just before the crash. Jennifer Flockhart, 17, of Mechanicsville was killed July 5 when her car rolled in a ditch near Durant.

Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesperson Jessica Lown says troopers found an unfinished text message on Flockhart’s cell phone. “Unfortunately, we have some evidence to indicate that she may have been texting while she was driving and it may have been a contributing factor to the accident that took her life,” Lown said. Flockhart was alone in the vehicle.

Lown is reminding motorists it is now illegal to text while driving in Iowa. Over the next year, motorists caught texting while driving will receive a warning. Lown says law enforcement can begin handing out citations to those caught violating the law on July 1, 2011. The fine is $30. The new texting ban in Iowa also prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from talking on a cell phone while driving.