An Illinois man lost his life when his farm tractor was rear-ended by a semi truck driver who said that he was distracted by a dropped electronic cigarette.
The crash happened just after 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 6 in Saline County near Harrisburg, Illinois, according to Courier & Press.
Illinois State Police say that Raymond G. Boles, 60, was driving a tractor southbound at a slow rate of speed on U.S. 45 when he was struck from behind by a semi truck driven by 56 year old semi truck driver Kevin S. Voelker.
Boles was airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
Voelker was not hurt in the crash.
Voelker later told police that he had been distracted after he dropped an e-cigarette in the cab of his truck. Illinois State Police Sergeant Mark Zimmerman explained, “There was a statement made involving an e-cigarette. It had fallen onto the floor board and he had reached down to grab that and by the time he looked up the tractor was in front of him and he couldn’t slow down in time before crashing.”
Voelker was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash.
Zimmerman reminded drivers about the dangers of driving while distracted. “We need to make sure that we are focused on driving while driving and try to limit all distractions inside the vehicle,” he said.