Deputies: Man crashes while reading text

A teen who crashed his car in Branch County told first responders he looked down to read a text message. (Courtesy Branch County Sheriff's Office - March 9, 2014)

UNION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A 18-year-old was injured when he crashed his pickup truck Sunday. Deputies say he had looked down to read a text message.

It happened around 10:10 a.m. Sunday on Adolph Road north of Sid Road in Union Township, near Union City. Authorities say Jason Hartley’s S-10 pickup truck crashed head-on into a tree about 200 feet from the road.

Hartley, 18, of Burlington was taken to the Branch County Community Health Center for treatment of his injuries. His condition Sunday night was not known.

Hartley told authorities he “just looked down for a second.” Authorities who checked his phone say he had received a text message just before the crash. Authorities say he had looked down to read that text message, which caused the crash.

He was cited for careless driving.

The sheriff’s office reminded drivers that becoming distracted by cellphones can cause crashes, injuries and deaths.

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