Lawmaker who voted to ban cell phones while driving -- rear-ends car while talking on cell phone...
Vallejo woman reportedly suffered minor injuries Friday when her car was rear-ended by an SUV driven by a state senator talking on a cell phone while driving through Solano County.
State Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, was driving her new state-issued 2007 Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV at 10:40 a.m. on eastbound Highway 12 at Beck Avenue when she rear-ended Ellen Butawan, 31, of Vallejo, California Highway Patrol Officer Marvin Williford said.
Butawan's 2005 Honda sedan was slowing behind a 2003 GMC Savana van that had stopped at a red light, Williford said. The impact forced Butawan's car into the rear of the van, driven by Bob Jordan, 57, of Turlock.
Butawan complained of pain after the three-vehicle smashup and went to NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield after the crash as a precautionary measure, Williford said.
Migden, 58, accepted blame Friday for the accident.
The collision remains under investigation, but it appears Migden took the wrong exit, inadvertently going on the eastbound I-80 connector onto eastbound Highway 12, Williford said. She was looking for a way to get back onto the freeway when she crashed into Butawan's vehicle, he said. Migden's sobriety was verified by officers using a hand-held breath-testing unit, even though there was nothing to indicate she had been drinking, Williford said.
"It was just a precaution," he said.
Her SUV, which she recently swapped for her taxpayer-funded 2005 Cadillac STS, sustained a dented front grill that kept the hood from closing properly. It was towed to the Fairfield CHP office, where officers used a coat hanger and duct-tape to secure it, before Migden drove it away to a meeting in Marin County. Migden last year voted for a new law that takes effect in July 2008 that will impose a minimum fine of $20 for anyone caught using a cell phone while driving without a headset, ear bud or other technology that frees both hands.
Vallejo Times Herald - State senator rear-ends Vallejo woman while talking on cell phone