Compound tragedy | Arkansas Blog

Compound tragedy

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I'd heard yesterday that the driver of a car believed at fault in a fatal crash that has prompted current cell phone legislation had shot himself. It's now being reported that the young man died today from the wound.

Michael Blanchard 27, was charged last week with negligent homicide in the crash that killed Paul Davidson, 41, of Jonesboro. Blanchard was reportedly text messaging at the time of the crash. Rep. Ray Kidd has introduced legislation to ban text messaging and use of anything but hands-free cell phones while driving. He introduced "Paul's Bill" at the request of Davidson's daughter Hillary. Kidd told me yesterday, when I asked him if he'd heard about Blanchard:

I am sorry for the pain being suffered by his friends and family. If true, it points to yet another awful result of one deadly decision -- one fatal mistake -- to text while driving. I hate the latest news, but it will have no effect on my bill other than to make me work harder for its passage.

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