According to police, Jeromy Kirkendall stole a 1989 Chevy S-10 pickup truck in Richland and was driving through Kennewick when he lost control of the truck, drove into a ditch and across several lawns before running into a home on W. 45th Place. Kirkendall admitted that he was eating a croissant and reading a text message when he lost control of the vehicle.
Witnesses said Kirkendall fled the scene on foot after the incident occurred. He was arrested a short time after the incident by a Benton County sheriff’s deputy and booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of stolen property.
Distracted Driving Statistics
- In 2009, 5,474 people were killed and approximately 448,000 were injured in vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
- 16 percent of all fatal crashes and 20 percent of all injury crashes involved a reported distracted driver in 2009.
- There were 196 billion text messages sent or received in the United States in June of 2011 – a 50 percent increase from June of 2009.