Posted at: 10/23/2012 10:30 AM
Updated at: 10/23/2012 6:01 PM
By: Gordon Severson
Texting a Major Factor in Fatal Bus Crash in Byron
(ABC 6 News)- It was seven weeks ago Tuesday that 17-year-old Dee-J Logan died after rear-ending a school bus on her way home from school.
Investigators have been working to find a cause for this tragic accident.
Looking into phone records and talking to a few witnesses they were able to determine that a text message was the biggest factor in the crash.
Officials believe Dee-J was typing that message when she rear-ended the school bus.
"It has changed and will continue to change our school year and our school," Byron High School Principal Mike Duffy explains.
A change easily seen right outside the doors of Byron High School where one purple painted rock bears tribute to one of their own.
"The family's message and our message with them is it's just too big of a risk," Duffy says.
A message Duffy and Dee-J's parents were compelled to share.
At 8:15 Tuesday morning they addressed the entire student body, sharing the story of their daughter.
At that exact moment investigators were unveiling their findings.
"Dee-J was composing a text message and we believe that the text message or distraction because of the text message, her inattentive driving was a significant cause of this accident," Sheriff Dave Mueller says.
Other tests show neither driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and neither one was speeding.
"It takes your attention off of driving. It's a very important job that you have to make sure that we're driving vehicles and paying attention to that serious responsibility," says Mueller.
A responsibility many students are now taking more seriously after losing a classmate and a friend.
And hearing the heart-felt story from two devastated parents.
"I think it was very effective. Our students were glued to every word the family had to say," Duffy says.
The family plans to share their message of texting and driving with any high school who will listen.