In one of the worst cases of reckless behavior yet connected to a distracted driving incident, a Boise man who was driving distracted because he was using his cell phone crashed into a pedestrian and killed him. While that part is bad enough, it unfortunately happens on a regular basis. What’s truly disturbing about this particular incident is that while the pedestrian lay injured and dying on the side of the road, the driver didn’t act to give any assistance. Instead, he began deleting text messages from his phone in an attempt to destroy the evidence that he had been using it when he struck the man. Police reports indicate that the responding officer had to physically pry the phone out of the driver’s hands to make him stop deleting texts.
The driver, Tyler Martinez, was also found to be high on methamphetamines at the time of the accident. Witnesses report that his car drifted across the center of the road, struck the victim from behind as he walked on the shoulder, and then continued on to crash into a chain-link fence. Martinez was arrested at the scene and later admitted to police that he was trying to delete his text messages so that officers wouldn’t see them. On the night of the crash, he was taken into custody for violating probation related to an earlier offense. He was held without bond and later charged with vehicular manslaughter and destruction of evidence, both of which are felonies.
The victim, Joel Eggers, worked at Trimco Millworks in Boise, but he was best known for another role. For the past twenty-eight years he’d also worked at Firebird Raceway, where he served as the chief starter and had given the signal to countless drivers to begin thousands of races. He’ll be missed at the raceway, where he was known as one of the hardest-working people around and considered something of an institution. Eggers left behind a wife, two children, and six grandchildren.
Distracted driving—which includes many dangerous behaviors—has been on the rise in the United States for some time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which tracks motor vehicle crashes because of the large number of deaths and injuries they cause, estimates that every day more than 1,100 people are injured and eight are killed because of distracted drivers.
The most recent data cited by the CDC indicates that crashes directly attributed to cell phone use have been rising by about 1 percent per year, despite a great many efforts to bring public attention to the problem. In fact, in a AAA study released not long ago, more than 70 percent of all drivers admitted to talking on the phone while driving. The true rate of cell phone involvement in crashes, which has been said to be around 10 percent, might be greatly underreported.
When you or someone close to you has been struck by a car or truck, the results can be overwhelming. In addition to any injuries caused by the crash, the victim and his or her family will likely face a long list of other issues: medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and income, and many other problems directly related to the crash and its aftermath. You need someone who will fight to help you receive everything you need to fully recover.
At Craig Swapp & Associates we understand pedestrian accidents and the legal issues associated with them. Get in touch with our office to learn what we can do for you. Every case is unique, so we offer a free consultation to new clients to discuss the details of their particular situation and to help them understand what might be involved and how a claim might move forward. Give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 to learn more or to schedule an appointment. You can also contact us online by either filling out the form at the bottom of this page or launching the LiveChat application on this website.