DCF investigates possible distracted driving

By Ashley Harding, General assignment reporter, aharding@wjxt.com
Published On: Jul 04 2014 07:05:02 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 04 2014 11:50:02 PM EDT

VIDEO: DCF is investigating a new case after one man took a photo of a woman looking at her cell phone while driving a daycare van. According to Tony Crisp, he was unsure about children in the backseat but he said there was definitely a little girl in the front seat.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Photos showing a woman driving a day care van looking at her phone with both hands off the steering wheel have prompted an investigation by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Tony Crisp sent the photos to News4Jax, saying they were taken as the Orange Park Preschool van was moving on County Road 220. He said it was unlike anything he'd ever seen before.

"She was driving with what looked like with her knees or something. I noticed her swerve a few times," said Crisp.  "I couldn't tell for sure about kids in the back seat, but I noticed there was definitely a little girl with blond hair in the front seat."

Crisp felt compelled to take a sequence of photos to document what he considered distracted driving that was endangering at least one child.

SLIDESHOW: View Tony Crisp's photos and judge for yourself

Crisp says he called Orange Park Preschool and was told they'd look into the matter. He says when he didn't hear back from them, he called News4Jax.

"I wanted to make sure, just to make sure they were actually going to take the steps necessary, whatever it might be," Crisp said.

John Harrell of the Department of Children and Families said they will contact the preschool to get to the bottom of this.

"We do want to find out more about this incident, about what may have been happening," said DCF spokesman John Harrell. "Obviously we want to know how many children were aboard, if there were other children, being what we saw in the picture. The key thing we want to point out is, look, at all times, drivers of child care facilities need to be focused on the road. Do your job. Make sure you're not putting children at risk."

Crisp says his hope is to see change and awareness.

"They can learn from this and make sure it doesn't happen again. Maybe other facilities will see this and know that there are people out there keeping an eye on things like that," Crisp said.

On Thursday, News4Jax called Orange Park Preschool and forwarded the photos to officials there.  They said they would respond, but as of Friday evening, we have not heard back from them.

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