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Distracted driving cited in fatal Wisconsin teen car crash

Wisconsin State Patrol officers attribute the deaths of three teenagers in a recent crash on Interstate 94 to distracted driving.

The fatal accident was about 140 miles north of La Crosse, in the town of Hudson.

Witnesses to the crash said boys in one car were trying to get the attention of a girl in a car that had passed them.

The driver of a 2000 Dodge Durango, just 17 years old, searched through the center console of the car, apparently looking for a piece of paper that could be passed to the girl in the other car. A rear-seat passenger, 16, unhooked his seat belt, to help look.

The three other boys in the car remained in their seat belts.

A boy in the car, 17, said they were trying to find paper so that they could pass a phone number to the girl in the other car, a trooper said.

The distracted teen driver, going at interstate highway speed, hit the back of a tractor-trailer stopped in traffic congestion, the State Patrol said.

The driver of the Durango died of his injuries a few days after the collision.

The sole survivor in the car of four teenage boys sustained little physical damage: only a broken collarbone. But his father said "emotionally, it's pretty tough" for his son.

The boy is unsure why he survived and his friends did not.

The semitrailer the boys hit had come to a stop because of congestion caused by road construction.

Our firm handles cases similar to the one described in this blog post. For more information, please visit our La Crosse car accidents page.

Source: twincities.com, "Wisconsin teens' crash deaths: Boys were trying to give girl phone number," Aug. 8, 2012

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