Distracted driving appears to be the cause of a two-vehicle accident Sunday evening in the Town of Pine River.
According to information released by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the crash reported at 8:02 PM near the intersection of STH 64 and Cain Creek Avenue.
As a result of a preliminary investigation, deputies concluded the collision was a result of distracted driving.
Witnesses indicated traffic had slowed on the highway due to a nearby residence releasing ‘Chinese Lanterns’ and other motorists taking an interest in the airborne devices. The slowed traffic resulted in one particular vehicle containing 4 occupants, to slow down as well. A second vehicle then struck the first vehicle.
The operator of the second vehicle reportedly admitted to deputies of using his cell phone to record video of the floating lanterns. He will be subsequently cited for Inattentive Driving.
According to notes from responding deputies, all but one passenger of the first vehicle were standing on the shoulder of the highway upon arrival. The passenger who remained in the vehicle sought medical attention, was treated at the scene by EMS and was later transported to Ministry-Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill; along with the other three family members. As explained via contact with the Merrill Fire Department, transports such as these are not uncommon, as family members often times would rather not be separated.