IN-CAR ACTION MOVIE CAUSED ACCIDENT
Copyright 2002 www.wcpo.com

[ November 16th 2002 ]

A little girl from Oakley is dead and the possible reason may shock you. One-year-old Audia Jones was killed in a car crash at McMillan and May streets in Walnut Hills one week ago. Police said Dennis Coulter, 21, who was driving the car Jones was riding in may have been trying to watch an action movie when he ran a red light causing the deadly collision.

Coulter's car has TV screens installed in the dashboard, in both sun visors and behind each headrest. "This is the first I've seen with five [video screens,]" Cincinnati Police investigator Mike Flamm said. Police said Coulter's girlfriend, who was also riding in the car at the time of the crash, told investigators that she and Coulter were watching a kung fu movie on the car's DVD system. Police found a copy of the movie Tomb Raider in the car's DVD player.

Most video monitors in cars aren't against the law. In fact, they're a huge seller at Big Papa's Car Audio in Madisonville. Most of Big Papa's customers request tv screens in their dashboards and headrests, but the customizing company has even installed the tv screens in rear view mirrors. The screens are only illegal if they are in the view of the driver. "It's another distraction. It's something that can potentially cause a crash," Detective Flamm said.

Flamm said Dennis Coulter potentially had three screens in his line of sight. Police want to know if he was looking at them instead of looking out for the girl in his backseat. Coulter has not been arrested or charged in the accident. He refused to comment for this story, but his father told 9News that just because a movie was playing doesn't mean Coulter was watching it.

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