Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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August 14, 2013

New light on Gordon truck fire

Cell phones might have contributed to the four-car accident

(Continued)

Mercer said the two deputies were outside of their cars, blue and red lights flashing, in the affected lane of traffic. Just then, the driver of a large semi came barreling toward them, traveling between 60 and 80 MPH, while texting on his cellphone. The deputies saw him and sprinted into the bar ditch and across the median, leaving their squad cars behind. The truck driver looked up at the last minute, in time to swerve around the cars, his tires screeching on the wet pavement. Mercer said that one of his officers told him if the truck driver would have looked up one second later, he would have plowed the police cars right off the road.

"All of us that have been in law enforcement very long have stories like this where we've had close calls with cars," Mercer said. "The point is that the red and blue lights up on top are not just for looks, they mean slow down, pay attention, something's wrong." Mercer continued.

"[Using a phone while driving is] not against the law in the state of Texas, but all I'm getting at is if you see red and blue lights, you need to pay attention. Because these guys are absolutely putting their lives on the line trying to slow people down. You would not believe how many people just don't pay attention to any of that. You would be amazed at the number of times we've had close calls. We've had people run over in this county on traffic stops because people just weren't paying attention."

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