Distracted Driver! Four Car-Wreck Snarls Traffic

A Thursday morning accident illustrated the dangers of distracted driving after a four-car wreck triggered by a teenager answering a cell phone shut down a Clovis intersection for nearly two hours.{}

The incident happened around 11:45 a.m. at the intersection of Barstow and Temperance avenues. That's when officers say a 17-year-old driver headed west on Bullard Avenue at Temperance looked down to check the phone number of an incoming phone call. When the teen looked up, he realized he was running a red light, the Clovis Police Department said.

The driver of a blue Buick traveling north on Temperance struck the teen's car and then rolled over on its side where it came to a stop, police said. Police say that triggered a chain reaction involving two additional cars.

The intersection was closed until about 1 p.m.

Clovis Police directed traffic around the accident scene, while Clovis firefighters were able to free the driver pinned in the Buick. Police say that the people involved in the wreck suffered only minor injuries.

Although stringent state laws in recent years have forced teenagers and adults to disconnect from mobile and electronic devices before getting behind the wheel, distracted driving accidents still persist.{}

Law enforcement officials have cracked down on mobile and electronic device usage this month for Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

In a news release, the Clovis Police Department said, "An accident like this punctuates why it is important to turn off your phone or let it go to voicemail when you are driving. Same goes for texting. If you're receiving a text or are going to send one, please pull over to do so. By following the law, you can be an alert driver on the road, and prevent accidents like the one we saw today."