In this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo, a rescue worker is seen at the scene of an accident involving two school buses, a tractor-trailer and another passenger vehicle, near Gray Summit, Mo. Federal safety investigators say a 19-year-old driver was texting at the time his pickup truck, two school buses and other vehicles collided in a deadly pileup on an interstate highway in Missouri last year. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
In this 2011 file photo, texting while driving increased 50 percent last year and two out of 10 drivers say they've sent text messages or emails while behind the wheel despite a rush by states to ban the practice, said the National Traffic Safety Administration. (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach, File)
WASHINGTON — A federal safety official says the 19-year-old pickup truck driver who caused a deadly highway crash in Missouri last year sent 11 texts in the 11 minutes immediately before the accident.
National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said Thursday it's clear the pickup driver was manually, cognitively and visually distracted.
The pickup crashed into the back of a tractor truck, beginning a chain collision. The pickup was rear-ended by a school bus, which in turn was rammed by a second school bus.
The pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses were killed. Thirty-eight other people were injured in the Aug. 5, 2010, accident near Gray Summit, Mo.