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Idaho police: USU student texting before fatal crash

Published February 9, 2012 8:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An Idaho State Police investigation has confirmed that a Utah State University student was texting just prior to the time her car, traveling nearly 90 mph, slammed into a semitractor rig's tanker on Interstate 84 near Mountain Home, Idaho, last month.

ISP Lt. Sheldon Kelley said Taylor Sauer, 18, of Caldwell, Idaho, was westbound on I-84 when the Jan. 14 crash occurred. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

In addition to her speed, well above the posted 75 mph, investigators determined that Sauer "was also using her cellphone to text extensively throughout the route she was traveling, up to and including during the last minutes prior to the deadly crash."

"The text messages were both incoming and outgoing during her trip between Logan, Utah [and the accident scene]," Kelley added. "In addition to the texting, there were multiple Facebook communications to and from Taylor Sauer during the minutes immediately prior to the crash."

After the initial crash, Sauer's car was hit from behind by a second semi. Sauer and the two truck drivers were wearing seat belts, and alcohol was ruled out as a factor in the accident. One of the semi drivers suffered minor injuries while the other driver was not hurt.

One of the last messages Sauer reportedly posted to Facebook read: "I can't discuss this matter now. Driving and Facebooking is not safe!"