Texting Cited in Teen’s Fatal Crash Into Bus

By Thomas McMahon

BYRON, Minn. — A teenager who was killed when she rear-ended a school bus was texting at the time, an investigation has found.

Deianerah “D.J.” Logan was 17 when she died in the September crash, which happened as she was driving home from the first day of her senior year of high school.

With the accident investigation complete, Logan’s family last week released a statement about the tragedy.

“Her error in judgment as a teenager in this brief moment in time was paid for with the highest price ever … her life,” the Logan family said. “We would much rather be grounding her for this mistake than never hearing her laughter fill the house again.”

The family said that the details of the accident are “devastating,” but they sought to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

“Cell phones are a distraction for many while driving,” the family said. “As parents, we need to educate and live by example by limiting our phone use while in the car.

“Our beautiful D.J. was a good kid, with good grades, great friends, a perfect driving record and loved life,” the family continued. “She made a mistake like all teenagers do in the process of growing up. Except this time, there is no growing up. We can only pray that others can learn from her.”

According to a Post-Bulletin news report from the time of the accident, authorities said that there had been two students on the bus, and one of them was stepping off when Logan’s minivan rear-ended the bus. Those students and the bus driver were not injured.

The Post-Bulletin reported last week that the crash investigation found that the Byron Public Schools bus driver appeared to be following all traffic laws.

Minnesota law prohibits all drivers from texting. Cell phone use is banned for school bus drivers and for teens with a permit or provisional license, but it is not banned for other drivers.

Logan’s accident recalls a crash in Georgia earlier this year in which police said that an 18-year-old driver was distracted by a text message when she swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a school bus head-on.

Thomas McMahon is the executive editor of School Bus Fleet magazine.

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