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Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office urges drivers not to use cell phones

Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 5:42 PM, May 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-23 10:51:21-04

FOND DU LAC COUNTY (NBC 26) — The Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office said cell phone use may have been a factor in a crash Thursday that killed two people—19-year-old Grace Starlight Cruis Thull and 64-year-old Gary Wustrack.

Investigators say Thull crossed the center line and crashed into Wustrack’s vehicle. The Sheriff’s Office said Thull may have been distracted by a cell phone at the time of the crash.

While this has not yet been confirmed and the cause of this crash remains under investigation, Lieutenant Chris Dobyns with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office said cell phone use can pose a real problem on the road.

“You don't want to do anything while you're driving that's gonna take your… means to safely operate a motor vehicle,” Dobyns said. “You're out on the roadway, sharing that roadway with a lot of others. You know, the ability to [operate motor vehicles ], it's a responsibility, it's a privilege.”

Dobyns said hands-free talking can be an option for drivers.

Drivers can also look at a GPS, but cannot type in an address or search the internet.

“You can't be engaged on your phone. Like I'm trying to drive, I'm trying to type in an address to get Google Maps and stuff. . . So that takes you away, reasonably, safely operate a motor vehicle, correct, if something would happen,” Dobyns said.

Construction zones also have stricter rules, and drivers cannot even hold a phone in those areas.

“That's relatively new and something that a lot of people aren't aware of,” Dobyns said. “They come into a construction zone and they're still, phone up to their ear yacking. And right now, you know, you got one hand off the wheel, and your reaction time in case something happens is minimal.”

After a crash, Dobyns says law enforcement has ways of learning if a cell phone was involved.

“We have means of, you know, through investigation, accessing phones, accessing what was going on to that screen at the time, what were the text messages coming in, all phone records, what apps were active at the time of [the] crash,” Dobyns said.

Dobyns urges people who witness reckless driving to report it to law enforcement.

“Obviously, you can use your cell phone to report an emergency, you know,” Dobyns said.