Officer Clayton Townsend was conducting a traffic stop on Tuesday night when a driver was allegedly seen crossing two lanes and crashing into the young officer. That driver—identified as 40-year-old Jerry Sanstead—was allegedly texting at the time.
 - Photo: Salt River Police Department.

Officer Clayton Townsend was conducting a traffic stop on Tuesday night when a driver was allegedly seen crossing two lanes and crashing into the young officer. That driver—identified as 40-year-old Jerry Sanstead—was allegedly texting at the time.

Photo: Salt River Police Department.

The mother of the officer with the Salt River (AZ) Police Department who was killed by a driver distracted by a text message on their phone says that the public should pay tribute to her son by stopping the practice of texting while driving.

Officer Clayton Townsend was conducting a traffic stop on Tuesday night when a driver was allegedly seen crossing two lanes and crashing into the young officer. That driver—identified as 40-year-old Jerry Sanstead—was allegedly texting at the time.

Officer Townsend suffered head trauma and was transported to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

"There's no text that is so important that it can take a father away from their wife or a dad away from their son," Toni Townsend said.

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