10/25/2012 11:02:00 AM Texting played a role in fatal crash Sheriff, family of "Deej" Logan urge public not to text and drive
By David Richards
Text messaging played a role in the September crash that caused the death of a Byron High School student, according to reports from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.
Deianerah "D.J." Logan died Sept. 4 from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle accident off County Road 5 in Byron. The crash happened at roughly 3:40 p.m. on the first day of the new school year.
The incident involved the 2002 Pontiac Montana van Logan was driving and a Byron school bus.
The bus driver, John Adamson, was uninjured in the crash, while a 7-year-old student complained of a sore arm/shoulder and an 11-year-old student complained of a sore neck. The 11-year-old student was the lone bus passenger at the time of the incident, while the 7-year-old student was exiting the bus.
Sheriff David Mueller released his final report on the incident Oct. 23.
Alcohol or drugs were not factors in the crash and neither was speed, Mueller said in a statement.
"Further investigation did reveal that Logan was actively texting at the time of the accident. The distraction and inattentiveness caused by texting while driving played a significant role in the crash that ultimately took her life," Mueller said.
"The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota Law Enforcement and the family of D.J. Logan would like to use this tragic incident as a reminder to all drivers of the dangers of texting while driving. This was the first day of school for D.J. in her senior year at Byron High School. D.J.'s loss was felt throughout the entire student body as well as the community as a whole. Our hope is that drivers choose to learn from this tragedy and hopefully prevent similar occurrences."
Following the sheriff's statement, the Logan family issued a letter responding to the report of the incident.
"Seven weeks ago today our daughter died in a tragic car accident, with the investigation of the accident now complete, you can imagine the details about our daughter's untimely death are devastating to our family, her friends and to those who knew D.J. Her error in judgment as a teenager in his brief moment in time, was paid for with the highest price ever ... her LIFE. We would much rather be grounding her for his mistake than never hearing her laughter fill the house again," the statement read.
"Cell phones are a distraction for many while driving. As parents we need to educate and live by example by limiting our phone use while in he car. Our beautiful D.J. was a good kid, with good grades, great friends, a perfect driving record and loved life. She made a mistake like all teenagers do in the process of growing up. Except this time there is no growing up. We can only pray that others can learn from her. As the days keep passing, her "2013" graduating class, Byron students and surrounding supportive communities please remember D. J.'s life changing lesson...Don't Text and Drive.
"We cannot thank everyone enough for the unbelievable support that our family has revived through this extremely difficult time."
Agencies assisting in the accident included Olmsted Sheriff's Office, Rochester Police Department, Byron Fire Department, Byron First Responders, Gold Cross Ambulance, Mayo One Air Ambulance and the Minnesota State Patrol.