Travis E. CrainEDWARDSVILLE – Texting and driving never pay.

Another prime example came full circle on Tuesday afternoon in Madison County Associate Judge Jennifer Hightower’s courtroom.

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Edwardsville State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons announced that a Madison man pleaded guilty on Tuesday afternoon for his role in an April 2015 fatal hit-and-run accident in Granite City. Travis E. Crain (d.o.b. 12/12/91, who was charged on April 22, 2015, pleaded guilty to one count of Failure to Report an Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death, a Class 1 Felony. The Madison County State’s Attorney’s office said it was also established that Crain was texting while driving prior to hitting Mark S. Harris, 25, of St. Louis, the victim in the case.

State's Attorney Gibbons noted that this case, and the consequences that the defendant faces at sentencing, is an example of why texting and driving is so dangerous.

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“The death of Mr. Harris is a tragic reminder of why it’s so important for drivers to put down their phones and focus on the road," Gibbons said.

The case went as follows: On Sunday morning, April 19th, 2015, Granite City Police responded to a 911 call that came in at 7:46 a.m. in reference to a deceased male lying off the roadway near the 2500 block of Edwardsville Road.

Investigators determined that Harris was the victim of a hit-and-run. Police were able to locate the truck, a 2004 silver Dodge Dakota, using surveillance video from the Granite City area near the scene. Crain was subsequently identified as the owner of the vehicle. The investigation revealed that Crain was driving his vehicle sometime after 3 a.m. when he hit Harris who had been walking along Edwardsville Road.

Crain has been in custody at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville on a $750,000 bond since being charged. He will be sentenced by Associate Judge Jennifer Hightower following the completion of a pre-sentencing investigation. He faces a sentence ranging from probation to 4-8 years in prison. Assistant State's Attorney Crystal Uhe, Chief of the Criminal Division, handled today’s plea.

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