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JAY, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma motorist who prosecutors say was distracted by his cellphone when his vehicle struck a state transportation superintendent will stand trial on a charge of first-degree manslaughter.

Prosecutor Nick Lelecas told the Tulsa World that testimony during a preliminary hearing last week included allegations that 38-year-old Robert Dryden Smith told law enforcement officers that he was distracted from driving in May 2016 because his phone kept making noises.

Authorities say Smith’s vehicle struck 47-year-old Jarrell Gray west of Jay, in Delaware County. Gray, the father of three sons, was a superintendent for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

He was supervising brush removal in a construction zone along state Highway 20 when he was struck.

Smith is free on bail. A phone listing could not be found for him.


Information from: Tulsa World,