Man injured in accident wants cell phone law changed in Oklahoma

By: Teddy Safo Email
By: Teddy Safo Email

JOHNSTON COUNTY, Okla. -- Cell phones are a technology that has become part of our everyday lives. Most people consider them to be beneficial, even vital, but one local man says his life was changed forever by a driver on a cell phone.

John Ruback says he can no longer walk without pain because of an accident he was involved in six months ago. He says the cause of that accident was a driver on a cell phone, something he wants to see outlawed.

“‘I’m crippled’ Two words for life," Ruback says.

On June 19, John Ruback, his wife, and eight-year old granddaughter were traveling west on Highway 199 back to Mannsville when another vehicle turned into Ruback' s path, and the two cars collided.

Ruback says the accident that shattered his heel and left him in constant pain. He says the accident could have been avoided if the driver had just hung up his cell phone.

"This side of his face was facing me and I saw him. I’m 99.9 percent sure I saw him talking on the phone because right after we hit him he got right out, he had it in his hand pulling me out."

Six months later, Ruback's foot is still swollen. Doctors told him his foot will not get any better. Today he wears a brace and walks with a cane

"If you don’t have a cane, you fall over."

Currently there are no laws in Oklahoma barring the use of cell phones while driving, but one state representative is pushing for such legislation.

In July, State Representative Paul Wesselhoff said he wants to prohibit drivers from using cell phones on the road.

"That is a misdemeanor, which is 20 days in mandatory jail sentence and a $1,000 fine."

It’s a measure Ruback says he would support.

"You just don’t know how mad you get. Everything…you go to get out of bed, you gotta grab a stick to get out of bed and walk across the room and knowing that’s the way it’s going to be for the rest of your life."

Ruback says even putting a shoe on is difficult, and his doctors say he would possibly need metal plates inserted into his foot to help him walk.

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