Crime

Police say man charged in Granite City hit-and-run death was texting

A Madison man faces reckless-homicide charges in the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian in Granite City on Sunday, as investigators allege he was texting while driving.

Travis Crain, 23, of Madison was charged Wednesday with two felony counts in connection with the death of Mark Harris. Harris, 25, of St. Louis was found dead by the side of Edwardsville Road at 7:46 a.m. Sunday. An autopsy later revealed Harris died of blunt-force trauma to the head, though he had other non-fatal injuries.

Police initially sought a 2004 silver Dodge Dakota truck using surveillance video from the area near the scene, which they said was later identified as belonging to Crain. Investigators believe Crain was driving down Edwardsville Road at about 3 a.m. and was texting while driving when he allegedly struck Harris.

Crain has been charged with reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony, and failure to report an accident involving personal injury or death, a Class 1 felony. If convicted, he faces four to 15 years in prison on the failure-to-report charge and two to five years on the reckless-homicide charge.

“The death of Mr. Harris is a tragic one, and I hope that these charges will be of some comfort to his family,” said Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons. “Sadly, this is yet another reminder of the dangers of texting while driving.”

Crain remained in custody Wednesday at the Madison County Jail in lieu of $750,000 bail.

Harris’ death is the second pedestrian death in less than a year for that area of Granite City. Last fall, 16-year-old Daniel Embrey was killed in another hit-and-run accident on Edwardsville Road while walking with friends at night. Earlier this week, the driver pleaded guilty to failure to report an accident and will be sentenced later.

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