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Distracted driver leaves two La Crosse kids seriously injured

Six people were injured in a crash the La Crosse County Sheriff's office says was due to distracted driving.

Two of those injured are young children ages two and eight, both of La Crosse. After the three-way car accident on Saturday, they were flown by helicopter to Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, where they were listed in serious condition, according a local media report.

The car wreck was on Highway 53, north of Holmen.

A 35-year-old Holmen man was waiting to make a left turn off of the highway when a pick-up truck rear-ended his vehicle, where the two kids were in car seats.

The force of the collision sent the car into a ditch. The driver and a 36-year-old passenger were also hurt in the accident.

Sheriff's deputies say the 52-year-old male driver of the pick-up dropped a soft drink he was drinking and then ran into the back end of the car waiting to turn.

A third car swerved to avoid the collision but was struck by the pick-up as well. The 31-year-old female driver, from Onalaska, was not seriously injured, police said. She was treated at the scene of the crash.

Apparently the only person involved in the crash who didn't need medical treatment was the driver of the pick-up truck.

While it's easy for many to dismiss his error -- after all, it's not uncommon for people to drink water or soda while they're driving -- the fact remains that this is the very sort of distraction that causes crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roads. Drivers who consume food and drinks while driving might find the distraction a harmless one, but as we can see from this example, among many others, the chances of causing serious injuries are too high for responsible people to take.

Source: La Crosse Tribune: "Holmen crash leaves two children in serious condition" by Patrick B. Anderson: July 10, 2011

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