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Police Unsure If Driver Distracted In Fatal I-75 Crash

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WWJ/AP) - Authorities in Ohio say they are looking into whether a Michigan man who died after a crash on I-75 was distracted by his phone.

Toledo police initially reported the driver was texting before the crash, but they now aren’t sure if that is what happened.

Officers say 51-year-old Ken Harder of Temperance, Mich., died Tuesday from injuries suffered in the violent crash Monday afternoon.

Harder’s SUV slammed into a parked Ohio Department of Transportation maintenance truck whose workers were picking up litter along northbound I-75 near Bancroft Street in Toledo. The truck was parked off the roadway.

Police say a semi-truck driver told officers he witnessed Harder  “distracted by his cell phone” shortly before the crash. However, police say their earlier report that Harder was texting while driving is “probably worded slightly wrong.”

“We are investigating whether he was physically texting. We are working on trying to figure out what exactly what was going on,” Officer Kevin Konz told The Toledo Blade.

The victim’s daughter told the newspaper that her father didn’t know how to text, and didn’t show any interest in learning the popular form of communication. She told the Toledo Blade her dad’s phone was a basic model that didn’t include a keyboard or other features that make it easier to text.

An investigation is ongoing.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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