BERLIN (CBS) – Police in Berlin released video of a frightening July car crash, hoping it serves as a reminder of how dangerous distracted driving can be.

The crash happened on July 23. Video shows the driver slamming into a utility pole. Berlin Police said the driver was issued a citation for texting while driving.

“Please use this as a self reminder, or to show your family & friends,” Berlin Police posted. “The text, email, Facebook, Snapchat Message can wait – it is not worth your life or the life of another person.”


Berlin Police Chief Tom Galvin is used to seeing the aftermath of such crashes but rarely the moment of impact.

“We often don’t get to see the reality of what this causes, so we felt it was important to get that video feed out there so people can see what happens and really see the dangers of texting,” he said. “You look at the pole coming down, you look at the car rolling over. There was so much potential for serious injuries. We are very lucky that there wasn’t.”

A driver was allegedly texting while driving, leading to a violent Berlin crash. (Image Credit: Ryan Hass)

Ryan Hass is the man who captured that dashcam video. He had a split second to react and veered off the road himself.

“When the pole snapped the pole went in the middle of the road and was bouncing up and down and I could have hit the pole with live wires,” said Hass. “When you’re in the moment you don’t realize that sort of thing. You don’t process it – what just happened?”

Hass was shocked the driver walked away with just a cut on her head.

“When you drive a vehicle nowadays there’s so much to distract them, there’s so much going on. Then to add texting and manipulating a phone into that as well, it just creates a danger for everybody,” Chief Galvin said.

Investigators are piecing together crash scenes from distracted driving constantly. They hope that state lawmakers will act to prevent future tragedies.

“I think all of us in law enforcement in the Commonwealth would love to see a hands-free bill passed,” Galvin said. “We’re just hoping our legislators can work that out.”