Distracted driver hits man in Council Bluffs

"I'm glad to be alive."
Posted at 5:51 PM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2018-09-09 17:13:52-04

A Council Bluffs man is grateful after a distracted driver hit him around 10:20 p.m. Thursday. Police said a teen behind the wheel was looking at her phone and not the road when she hit Ken Hill.

The woman faces a charge under a new Iowa law aimed at stopping drivers from texting and talking on their phones while driving.

“I don't remember anything from up until I was in the hospital bed,” Hill said.

Hill said he's suffering from a concussion and a few scrapes and bruises after being hit by 18-year old Kyleigh Severn. Police said she admitted she was looking at her phone when she hit Hill and a tree.

“Obviously, we are glad that she told us the truth of what happened,” Council Bluffs Sergeant Jason Bailey said.

In Iowa, it's now illegal to text while driving and police can pull you over if they see your phone out.

“It's dangerous and everybody knows it dangerous. But people are still doing it, and we have to get the word out that we're not allowed to do that, and the dangers of it," Bailey said. "This is a clear example of that.”

Since the law went into effect, Bailey said he's not seeing a decrease in drivers texting and driving, but now they can issue tickets for it — and they know what to look for.

“Our officers try to watch and see whether or not they are making a phone call," he said. "You can watch and see if they put the phone next to their ear, if they are talking, so that's probably a good indication they are hands free.”

Luckily for Hill, he's one of the survivors. 

“I'm glad to be alive it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Police ticketed Severn for unlawful use of an electronic device which carries a $100.50 fine.