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Distracted Driver May Have Caused Fatal I-80 Crash

Police say a family lost a father and grandfather because a driver may have been texting or looking at a GPS.

Walter Blockmon was killed Friday on Interstate 80 near Hazel Crest. | Credit: NBC Chicago
Walter Blockmon was killed Friday on Interstate 80 near Hazel Crest. | Credit: NBC Chicago

A 50-year-old Chicago man — a father and grandfather — died Friday afternoon on Interstate 80 after his car was rear-ended by an SUV.

State Police told the family the driver of the SUV may have been texting or looking at a GPS when the crash occurred, setting off a four-car chain-reaction collision that closed eastbound I-80 for several hours.

"I'm so upset, so angry that someone could be an adult and be so careless," Lanisha Blockmon, daughter of Walter Blockmon, told NBC Chicago on Saturday. "They took away somebody and we won't be able to see him anymore cause of a simple text."

Blockmon was pronounced dead at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

"I will miss my dad calling me every day," Lanisha Blockmon said. "I'll miss him being with his grandchildren. He won't be able to see them grow up, go to prom or college. He'll miss all of that."

» via NBC Chicago

Brandon July 14, 2014 at 02:13 PM
People who are addicted to their phones should turn their ringers off and toss the phone in the trunk while driving. That phone call while driving could end your life or someone else life. My sympathy to this family. I was caught up in the traffic as it was backed up for miles. People stop it!!!!!!'
JusticeLeague July 14, 2014 at 03:50 PM
People are equally distracted by the radio, their kids, too much on their minds or just plain not paying attention. All it takes is a second of time. Everyone wants to blame one thing (cell phones) when there's always been distraction. The cell phone was a theory of the officer not the reason. It's just the distraction du jour
gayleski July 14, 2014 at 09:22 PM
And how about the people driving with their little purse dogs on their laps!
Darkness July 15, 2014 at 10:51 AM
I've had way too many close calls from ignorant a-holes doing everything but paying attention to the road. News flash; the world doesn't revolve around you, your twitter feed, your facebook posts, or reading the paper (yeah I've seen people reading the paper while driving). Get your head out of your a** and drive. You're only piloting a 3000+ pound missile, and it might actually require you to f**king pay attention.....
Granny Gruntz July 15, 2014 at 03:38 PM
Harry Callahan July 14, 2014 at 08:56 AM - "... walk around with their I-Phones in their hands...I call them "THE WALKING DEAD". **MR. CALLAHAN, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU!! *Last winter I was driving down a parking lot aisle at Walmart, Matteson, looking for a parking place. *AND I go slower than a snail because one never knows when a child will dart out, a car backs out without driver looking, etc., *This particular time I had stopped!! - BECAUSE a group of 3-4 women were walking TOWARDS my car. *AND one member of this group of 3-4 WAS SO BUSY TEXTING that she would have WALKED STRAIGHT INTO THE FRONT OF MY CAR - had not one of her friend pulled the "texting" woman to the side. *AND - HAD I NOT BEEN WATCHING AND KEEPING MY CAR MOTIONLESS - THAT WOMAN WOULD HAVE BEEN HIT! * "THE WALKING DEAD" is a very appropriate term! *Too many drivers go through store parking lots at a pretty fast clip in order to beat another driver to an empty parking place. *Those drivers pay NO ATTENTION to those walking - or - "THE WALKING DEAD"!

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