Lawmaker Wants To Name Anti-Texting, Driving Bill After Injured, Killed OHP Troopers

Thursday, February 12th 2015, 5:29 pm
By: News On 6

An Oklahoma lawmaker filed an amendment to rename a house bill addressing texting while driving to honor two Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers.

Trooper Nicholas Dees was killed and Trooper Keith Burch was injured when they were hit by a vehicle in January while investigating an overturned semi on I-40 near Shawnee.

State Representative Mike Christian, who filed the amendment, said several sources involved in the investigation said the driver, Steven Clark, was distracted just before the accident because he was updating his social media pages while driving, a news release says.

2/7/15 Related Story: Mourners Gather To Honor Fallen Oklahoma Trooper Nicholas Dees

“The senseless and tragic death of Trooper Dees and the catastrophic injuries to Trooper Burch are what compelled me to file this amendment,” Christian said. “Hopefully this incident will raise the type of awareness we need to bring an end to texting while driving.”

Clark has been charged with first-degree manslaughter.

The release says, House Bill 1965 passed out of the House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee Wednesday by a unanimous vote and now awaits a hearing on the floor.

The bill, filed by State Representative Terry O'Donnell, would prohibit texting, emailing or using instant messaging while driving.