Boy's father 'expected' distracted driver's guilty plea

Travis Fox, 40, was traveling on I-196 near Coopersville on Aug. 3 when he crashed into a vehicle carrying 13-year-old David Talsma.

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man involved in a deadly distracted driving crash has decided to change his plea.  

Travis Fox of Indiana was charged in the crash that killed 13-year-old David Talsma over the summer. Last month, he pleaded not guilty to those charges, but he has now told a judge he wants to plead guilty instead.

Fox has admitted to eating and checking his GPS when he smashed into the minivan carrying Talsma.

WZZM 13 spoke to Talsma's father about the plea and about Michigan's distracted driving laws.

"From what they’ve all told me, it’s something to be expected," said Jason Talsma, David's father. "No surprises."

It's hard to be surprised for a father who had the worst shock of his life just a few months ago. 

"Thoughts of David will come up," said Talsma. 

The misdemeanor charge against Fox, moving violation causing death, has a maximum punishment of one year in jail. 

"Any person facing the relatively minimal charge like this would probably go along with whatever the charge is, and that’s kind of what he’s doing, going along with what it is," said Talsma. "It makes sense; I would do the same thing."

Fox told investigators he was eating a sandwich and checking GPS when he slammed into the minivan on I-196 near Hudsonville over the summer. David was in the minivan's back seat.

"It doesn’t make it feel like it’s a serious offense when something like this happens, and it obviously it is to us -- there couldn’t be anything more serious," said Talsma. 

Jason Talsma plans to be at Fox's sentencing next month. WZZM 13 asked Talsma if an apology from Fox would mean anything to him.

"Yeah, I think so; from what I’ve heard from the officers and everyone who was on the scene at the time, he was very distraught and very apologetic," said Talsma. 

However, for now he wants a better answer from Michigan law.

"Seems a little odd at times, the way the law works, and sometimes does not work for what you would like to see accomplished," said Talsma. "I feel like there is a little catch-up that needs to happen between the law and what is actually going on in the real world."

Fox previously posted bond in the case. He will be sentenced on Dec. 22. 

© 2018 WZZM-TV


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