UPDATE: A car slammed into the Motel 6 in Dalton damaging the structure and injuring a guest, police said the teen behind the wheel was texting while driving.
"I felt the vibration off the bed and the building was vibrating and it shook me real bad and I come out and seen people running across the parking lot coming around the building and the car was in the motel room,” an eyewitness described.
Dalton Police Department said a teen driving on Highway 41 left the road and pummeled through a room 101 Saturday morning.
"He admitted that he was texting while driving during his trip. They examined some evidence and determined that it was a contributing factor to the crash,” Bruce Faizer with DPD said,
Breakfast was still warm on the table when the crash happened. Police said everyone got out with minor injuries. However, it could have been worse.
"The truth is this guy is extremely lucky. He could've been killed, he could've killed the people in this hotel and it's not worth it over any text or distraction,” Fraizer said.
In Georgia, it's illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to operate a vehicle and use a phone period, but it's different for adults.
"Drivers over the age of 18 can talk on the phone, but it's still illegal to send emails texts or use data while they're driving,” Fraizer added.
It's not just using your phone that's illegal, anything from eating, to putting on makeup - if takes your focus off the road, you could be cited.
"If it's causing you to operate your vehicle in an unsafe manner, that's also against the law and you can be cited for that as well,” Fraizer said.
The teen has been charged with using a cell phone while driving under the age of 18. Police said other charges are pending.
There was no indication of drug or alcohol use by the driver in this crash and he is cooperating with investigators.
A teenager texting seems to be the cause of a vehicle that crashed into a Motel 6 in Dalton
The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded this morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms.
The crash happened at approximately 7:30 this morning. The driver, a 17 year old, was traveling southbound on Highway 41 and failed to follow the curve of the road and instead drove straight through a restaurant parking lot and into the back of the motel building, crashing into the bathroom area. There was one person staying in the room who was still in bed who escaped with minor injuries after the bed was pushed into the front wall of the room.
There was no indication of drug or alcohol use by the driver. The driver did admit to texting while he was driving, and he has been charged with using a cell phone while driving under the age of 18. The crash is still under investigation and further charges are possible.