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Vernal teen dies after being hit by texting driver, police say

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  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 8, 2012 12:57 p.m.

    To the family, I am sorry for your loss.

    To the rest of us:

    A) Don't text and move. Don't drive, don't walk, don't cross streets, don't walk along the road.

    B) Always walk on the side of ONCOMING traffic, so you can see if someone is coming toward you. Even the sidewalk isn't safe, just safer. If someone loses control, they can jump the curb.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 10:54 p.m.

    I wish readers would take the time to read the entire article before making assumptions and jumping to conclusions. The article made it very clear the driver will face charges, possibly as severe as a second degree felony with a possibility of fifteen years in prison. The police are doing their job. I would rather have the authorities take their time and conduct a thorough investigation rather than make a premature arrest.

  • Serenity Manti, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 9:12 p.m.

    So tragic. Just reading about how a sweet kid's life was so senselessly snuffed out by negligence makes me nauseous. Negligent homicide is just not enough of a charge for the driver of that truck. He could have avoided this tragedy if he only showed a little bit of consideration for other people out there. His selfish and irresponsible act ended an innocent life. This story simply makes me sick.

  • Blue AZ Cougar ,
    Sept. 4, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    I'm baffled that the suspect still had a drivers license at all. After so many violations (10 instances of speeding, 3 of those in excess of 30mph over the speed limit?!?!), how could this guy still have a license? Perhaps he was driving on a suspended license...

    Tragic, very tragic. There are no winners in situations like these.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 1:19 p.m.

    10 speeding tickets in less then 10 years?

    When will Utah finally wake-up and pass a 3-Strikes law?

    I don't know who's to blame --

    These repeat and out-of-control offenders
    or
    the Government who enbale them?

    Perhaps the Clarks should sue the Government,
    for failing to protect their son from these sorts.

  • nairbnosral American Fork, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Under Utah’s law, someone caught texting and driving now faces up to three months in jail and up to a $750 fine, a misdemeanor. If they cause injury or death, the punishment can grow to a felony and up to a $10,000 fine and 15 years in prison. Utah’s texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. That is, the officer sees you texting and issues a citation.

  • Ballplayer Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 12:47 p.m.

    The first thing we need to do is get serious about who can drive. This guy has a history of traffic offenses, including one alcohol related offense. He needs to never drive again. That would probably punish him more than jail time. He would learn that driving is not a right. It's a privledge he no longer has.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    Pehaps we should limit the amount of data or apps to our phones or make you join a club to have one?

    Isn't that the type of silly response Utah does to Drunk driving? - Limiting the amount or alcohol in beer or making you join a "club"?

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    Sept. 4, 2012 10:39 a.m.

    What a horrible thing this is! A promising life taken because someone with multiple incidents of careless driving is texting. The laws are there. The examples are multiple. Death is complete. Sadness for both parties doesn't change things. Why not just make good choices initially? No message in the world is worth this price. God bless the Clark family as they say goodbye to their son.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 4, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    Re: IdahoStranger NEWDALE, ID
    "What is needed is Less Government, More INDIVIDUAL Responsibility and with God's help, a better world."

    Individual responsibility and God's help weren't enough to save this young man's life. A still fine every time someone is caught would go a long long way in encouraging individual responsibility. Saying "I'm sorry" after taking a human life because of negligence just doesn't seem quite adequate in my opinion.

    The question is who is lobbying against legislation that would increase penalties for texting and talking on cell phones while driving?

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 9:14 a.m.

    Texting while driving should have an additional penalty similar to firearm use during a crime. All driving while impaired, like texting, drug and alcohol, prescription drugs, etc. should carry mandatory loss of license for at least five years. Also all drivers over 75 should be tested every two years. As our traffic increases we need to be ahead of it in safety regulation and enforcement.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    So, what next? There must be more of those stupid people out there still doing this cell phone thing. I am not talking about just texting, I am talking about useing cell phone all around while driving. I am visually impaired traveling with my white cane at many places and I have seen (yes not quite blind yet) drivers came too close to running me over and as well other people in many ways. When are those cell phones going to be ban behind the wheel?

    Of course some of you may read this article and would say, it is not going to happen to me while I use my cell phone and drive. Think again people.

    I feel bad for this young victim as well his family member and his friends - RIP.

  • Gosh-DUH Burlington, CT
    Sept. 4, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    Condolences to the family and friends of Tommy Clark. The 28 yr old driver must suffer severe consequences. Nevertheless, defensive walking/biking is needed for self-preservation against motorized vehicles. Wearing helmets while cycling is recommended for safety for both children and adults. We should also take precautions while walking. In a collision with a car, a pedestrian will lose. The victim in this case was walking at 9 pm at night and apparently walking with traffic; the article says he was hit from behind. I walk a lot for exercise. I assume that all drivers of motorized vehicles are blind and texting or otherwise driving distracted. It is my responsibility to take precautions and evasive action when necessary. Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, preferably a screaming yellow color, day or night. When walking at night ensure that drivers can see you - wear a headlamp with front and rear lights or carry a flashlight. Move over to the side of the road if the driver gives no evidence of seeing you and/or does not move over. Realistically, I cannot stop distracted driver or drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I must protect myself.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 4, 2012 7:59 a.m.

    J-TX,

    "I have started to call in texting drivers, too, and there are far more of them"

    Well, I can imagine that if you are in Texas when you call in, you probably get a rude response. You are reporting someone who is committing no crime unless they are under 18.

    "Texas legislation news: Gov. Rick Perry vetoed the Legislature’s plan to ban text messaging for all drivers
    Texas is one of 11 states without a ban on text messaging by all drivers.

    Perry called the distracted driving legislation a “government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.” The veto came June 17, 2011. The law would have taken effect Sept. 1, 2011."

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    I hope they throw the book at the driver.

    Driving while texting (DWT) is every bit as dangerous as driving under the influence (DUI). At least the drunks are *trying* to watch the road.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Sept. 4, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    When I'm driving, I have always called in drivers who are obviously drunk. I have started to call in texting drivers, too, and there are far more of them. Until / unless they see repercussions that change their behavior (tickets, fines, jail time) they will not change their behavior.

    I applaud all young people who have taken the pledge to not text and drive. Now what are we going to do about the other 95%? Enforcement as a deterrent. Period.

    Thoughts and prayers to the family of this boy, who could have been my daughter....

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 4, 2012 7:16 a.m.

    @Idahostranger

    Would you take the same approach with DWI?

    Are DUI penalties too stiff?

    How do you achieve MORE Individual Responsibility?

    Cant you apply that same logic to All of our laws?

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 6:42 a.m.

    It is my understanding that Utah has a law making it illegal to text while driving. Is this not so? I can't count how many times I have seen people either texting or playing with a cell phone while driving. Almost every time I find someone holding up traffic or driving badly they are on a phone or texting. The penalty for this behavior should be more severe than a slap on the wrist. Mandatory jail time and loss of privilege are a must and should be vigorously enforced. In this case, after a death has occurred, the offender should be also charged with automobile homicide.

  • IdahoStranger NEWDALE, ID
    Sept. 4, 2012 6:14 a.m.

    Tragic to say the least.

    Will passing more laws solve the problem? No!
    Will making laws tougher restore the injured or the dead? NO!

    What is needed is Less Government, More INDIVIDUAL Responsibility and with God's help, a better world.

    Did someone who knew Mr. Bascom fail to care for their brother by failing to take him aside and pointing out that his long string of violations and disregard would one day lead to something like this? Did anyone who he might have listened to take the time to care for him and potential victims?

    Or do we all just say, I could see there was going to be trouble there someday. And then do nothing to practice prevention?

    Less government, More Individual Responsibility ... that is what is needed. More government will never provide the solution.

    Short of the individual changing himself, being our brother's keeper is one way that may have prevented this tragedy.

    Perhaps we all share part of the blame when we fail to act?

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 5:10 a.m.

    Texting while driving should be a crime. It needs to rise to the level of the law as there still exist people who think they can do both at the same time. I thought I could the first two or three times I tried it years ago. It quickly became apparent that I was not as effective as I driver so I stopped. This is not to boast of my own self-awareness but I am afraid that there are others who will not be as introspective. They need the force of law to make them aware.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 12:08 a.m.

    Permit one last question: If this guy has all those citations, proving he lacks the judgement to be a safe driver, why is he still licensed to drive? If you pay the fine does that then make it alright to be a bad driver and just let the offenses stack up until you have an incident like this happen? When do the courts take away the keys and in this instance, why not sooner?

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 11:59 p.m.

    @ One Old Man

    Agreed: This death was sooooooooooooo unnecessary.

    Disagreed: "Texting and telephoning while driving is a crime." It is a distraction and if you cause a problem while driving due to being distracted, there are laws in place to deal with that already. What we don't need is a bunch of new laws. What wee DO need is better drivers that pay attention to their driving. Maybe an increased effort at enforcement would do the trick, but I doubt any more laws would.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 11:50 p.m.

    OK, 2nd try: This isn't about DUI, it's about a distrcted driver, and should stand on its own merits. Those calling for a law against texting ought to also be calling for a law against playing the radio or eating while driving as they are distractions, too.

    The State of Utah isn't all that serious about DUI or distracted driving. I have been known to use a cell phone on bluetooth, but not in a danergerous situation, like a bicyclist wandering into the outside lane, but have stopped talking until I was past the situation. Sometimes I have even pulled over, way off the road, to make an important call.

    DUI is more dangerous because while you can hang up the phone or quit texting, you can't suddenly become sober.

  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 9:01 p.m.

    Jeffery shouldn't have a licence again until he is 30! This kind of thing really makes me mad.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 8:47 p.m.

    Now that this boy has died -- one more victim of stupidity and selfishness -- will the Utah legislature finally make texting and telephoning punishable as the crime it is?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 3, 2012 7:45 p.m.

    "Is this somehow more acceptable than drunk driving?"

    According to the Law in Utah, it must be.

    This guy is guilty of a class b Misdemeanor in Utah. (class c if he had not hurt someone)

    If this guy had been drunk, he would have lost his license for a minimum of 120 days and spent 2 days in jail. That is for starters.

    And, there would have been 50 comments of outrage by now.

    Some studies suggest that Texting while driving is MORE dangerous than DUI.

    Why the disparity in penalty and perception?

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    Sept. 3, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    I've seen a few billboards in Utah regarding texting and driving, but nothing to prevent it. One should say, "DO unto others as YOU would have them do unto you?" while having a picture of a driver texting.

    I can't tell you how many near hits have occurred while I was there. Utah has a deplorable lack of nailing offenders in this area. Time to step it up. There is money in fines to be had, and lives to be saved.

  • albu1595 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    DN Subscriber:

    While I agree with the sentiment of your message I have to say I disagree with part of the message about suing the parents. The story said this guy was 20 years old. Do you truly believe the parents of this legal adult should be responsible for the negligant driving of their son? I am a parent and do my best to teach my children. What if I as a parent hit some poor kid on the sidewalk while texting. Should my 20 year old son somehow get sued? Your logic is flawed but your outrage is understandable and justified.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    Wowza! I've agreed with Rifleman twice in the last little while. Amazing.

    But it's long past time for big brother to get involved with both texting and phoning.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 3, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    Why didn't the police arrest the texting driver? Is this somehow more acceptable than drunk driving? Why doesn't our legislature take distracted driving seriously.

    Since some of us seem unable to grasp the concept that texting while driving is dangerous it may be time for big brother to get involved.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 3, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    Unacceptable!

    We have laws about such things, so there should be criminal charges and the driver should be punished to the full extent of the law.

    We also have civil suits to hold people responsible for their negligent actions and get compensation for actual and punitive damages. Normally, I detest the personal injury lawyers and their tactics and outrageous fees, but in this case I am willing to make an exception. I hope the victim gets the nastiest, greediest lawyer in the state and they sue the driver for every dime he has, his parents have, his insurance company has, and every dime he makes in the future. Then relay the results to every person who has a text phone so they are warned!

    This maiming of an innocent was 100% preventable!