Texting while driving blamed in fatal crash near Rochester

Texting while driving blamed in fatal crash near Rochester
ROCHESTER, Wash. - A young Tumwater woman was killed in a head-on crash on State Route 12 near Rochester on Friday evening, the Washington State Patrol reported.

State troopers said the woman, identified as Ashley R. Davis-Jones, 22, had been texting while driving just before the deadly crash.

Davis-Jones was heading east in a 2005 Mazda 3 when she crossed the center line in a straightaway and crashed head-on into a 1995 Freightliner box truck at about 5:15 p.m., said Trooper Guy Gill.

She was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was not hurt.

State troopers investigating the collision found an open cell phone on the driver’s floorboard and determined that Davis-Jones had been texting just before the collision occurred.

Investigators said this also would explain why she veered across the centerline in a straight section of roadway.

The Washington State Patrol said the deadly crash was "completely preventable."

The truck was transporting a mix of iodine and bleach at the time of the crash, and a small amount leaked on the roadway. The Department of Ecology responded to prevent a leak into Scatter Creek.

The incident shut down the roadway in both directions for several hours.