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Distracted driving suspected in Missouri car accident

A man was killed as he rode his bike along a rural Missouri road on June 30. According to Missouri troopers, the accident occurred around 8 a.m., when a car coming from behind struck the back wheel of the man's bike. Apparently based on the driver's statements, police believe that distracted driving may have played a role in the tragic car accident.

The biker was riding in a charity bike ride event, the Freedom From Cancer Ride. He was biking alone at the time of the accident and was said to have been riding ahead of the pack because he wanted to get an early start. As a result, none of the other bicyclists were said to have witnessed the car accident.

Police say they intend to subpoena the cellphone records of the driver. According to police officials, this is routine in accidents of this nature. Police are continuing their investigation and have not as yet released more information other than to indicate that the biker was apparently riding on the traveled portion of the roadway when the accident occurred.

With the increased concern over Missouri drivers using text messaging on their cellphones while driving, investigating cellphone activity at the time of an accident has become increasingly common. Despite the many warnings issued as to the dangers of this type of distracted driving, many individuals continue to text message while behind the wheel of their vehicle. Although it is unclear at this time whether the cause of this accident involved a phone, the focus of the investigation appears directed toward understanding the nature of the motorist's distraction.

Nevertheless, what has already been done cannot be undone, and the victim's family is left to mourn their sudden and seemingly senseless loss. In time, they may consider what steps, if any, they wish to pursue under state law to seek accountability for any negligence that caused or contributed to the fatal accident.

Source: Wichita Eagle, "Independence, Mo., cyclist killed in accident during charity ride," Christine Vendel, June 30, 2012

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