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How Many People Drive While On Their Phone?

July 26, 2012, 6:28 PM by Kelly Bartnick

How Many People Drive While On Their Phone?

Police are planning to close the intersection of 26th Street and Minnesota Avenue Thursday night to reconstruct the crime scene of the multi-vehicle accident that happened Wednesday night.

The intersection will be closed for about two hours, starting at 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday afternoon KELOLAND News came out to the intersection to try and gauge just how many people drive through it while on their phones or texting and driving.

Next to a light pole power crews are replacing are balloons in memory of the motorcyclist hit in Wednesday night’s crash.

“[It sounded] not like a gun shot, not like an explosion, just a different sound. And everybody in the store immediately stood up and started looking,” crash witness Adam Beaird said.

Beaird was working nearby. He says he went outside and saw the scene and it stretched over an entire block of the one of the city's busiest street.

“The paramedics were there very fast. The cops were there very fast. They started working really fast,” Beaird said.

Police say it was caused by texting and a day later word has gotten out.

“Everyone needs to be entertained all the time. It gets people in trouble, I think,” Sioux Falls resident Andrew Swann said.

But has the news sunk in? We wanted to find out. For about 30 minutes we stood at the same intersection watching and counting. Our best estimate was 33 people behind the wheel while on their phones and seven of them texting.

“You'll just see them, just like this, and if anything happens, you know,” Swann said.

But for those who watch the traffic out here each day, the shock from what the saw, knowing the death was caused by texting does make them think.

“The sound alone was bigger than what you would normally expect from a sound like that from a normal accident than a smaller one.” Beaird said.

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