Linn County Metro

Complaint: Furne was texting at time of fatal County Home Road crash

Cedar Rapids man faces two counts of homicide by vehicle from November crash

ROBINS — Keith Furne was texting when he rear-ended a car on County Home Road last November, killing two teenagers inside, records show.

Furne, 35, of Cedar Rapids was charged last week with two counts of homicide by vehicle and one count of reckless driving resulting in serious injury. A criminal complaint filed in the case provides additional details on Furne’s alleged actions leading up to the fatal crash.

According to information from the Linn County sheriff and attorney’s offices, on Nov. 3, 37-year-old Jennifer Perez, of Belle Plaine, was stopped on County Home Road waiting to turn left onto North Troy Road. Perez’ children, Selena Apodaca, 16; Elysia Severson, 14; Isabella Severson, 13; and a four-year-old were in the vehicle as well.

Perez’ Chevrolet Aveo was hit from behind by Furne. The crash killed Selena and Isabella and seriously injured Perez, Elysia Severson and the four-year-old. Furne was not injured in the crash.

According to the criminal complaint, Furne admitted to investigators he was texting before he hit Perez. Investigators obtained search warrants for the Crash Data Retrieval box on Furne’s pickup, as well as his cellphone.

Authorities said the Crash Data Retrieval box showed Furne was going 60 mph for 2.5 seconds before the impact and that he never braked before the crash.

Additionally, data from Furne’s cellphone showed he had been sending and receiving text messages before the crash. Furne was in the middle of drafting another text when the crash occurred, authorities said.

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Homicide by vehicle is a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Reckless driving resulting in serious injury is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Furne remains in custody on a $100,000 bond.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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