DPS: San Jacinto County judge's distracted driving caused crash

COLDSPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- The distracted driving of San Jacinto County Judge John Lovett Jr. led to a crash Monday afternoon, according to DPS troopers. Lovett was cited for failing to maintain financial responsibility by not having car insurance, and a charge of driving on the wrong side of a roadway is now pending against him.

The crash report revealed Lovett was driving his Ford F350 eastbound on FM 2666 outside Shepherd, Texas. He told investigators he was on his phone before he slammed into a Toyota Prius that was heading westbound. Eyewitness News learned a 16-year-old girl heading home from high school was behind the wheel of the Prius.

She suffered cuts and bruises from the impact, but she's expected to be okay. The crash report showed the teenage girl's vehicle ended up in a ditch.

At his office in Coldspring on Wednesday, Judge Lovett tried avoiding ABC13's cameras before trying to use a book to block the crew from recording the exchange.

"I'm going to hold off on any comments while the investigation is ongoing," said Judge Lovett. "I'm sure once the details are known, it will be nothing more than just a routine accident that happens every day."

Judge Lovett said by phone late this afternoon he was dialing on his phone just before the crash. He called the accident unfortunate and said he was sorry about the entire incident.

Lovett said he was trying to conduct county business and working on a mental health emergency detention request at the time. He characterized news coverage of the crash as a hit job by political opponents. Judge Lovett said he voluntarily requested his blood be drawn at a local hospital to quell any speculation about the incident.

DPS' report states they are awaiting toxicology results from their crime lab as they continue their investigation.

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