Reaching for cell phone, man crashes on Route 17A

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    WARWICK-Talking on your cell phone while driving can be dangerous, so all the studies show, especially if you are using a hand-held phone. One New Jersey man can even top that - he wasn't even using his cell phone when it caused him to crash. Warwick Police Lt. Thomas Maslanka said Joseph H. Italiano, of Hamburg, N.J., was heading toward the Village of Greenwood Lake from Warwick Monday morning on Route 17A, just past Jarmain Road, when he dropped his cell phone. As he reached for it, his Jeep veered into a ditch. Maslanka said Italiano then tried to overcompensate and headed into the oncoming lane where his vehicle ran into Sean D. Wilson's Ford F150 truck. Wilson, of West Milford, N.J., was taken to St. Anthony Community Hospital for head injuries. Italiano was flown to Westchester County Medical Center. Police did not know the condition of either man. Maslanka said Italiano was not using his cell phone while he was driving. It was sitting on his lap and just fell off. "This is the perfect example of why the State of New York wants all cell phones in cars to be hands free," said Maslanka. "Cell phones are a distraction, just like so many things. People have to cram so much in their day, they feel they have to eat, drink, talk on the phone while driving to get everything done." Maslanka said Warwick police have handed out many tickets lately to drivers for using hand-held cell phones while driving.