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Phone Use Possible Factor in Plastic Surgeon's Fatal PCH Crash

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Plastic surgeon to the stars, Dr. Frank Ryan, lost his life Monday in an accident on PCH in Ventura County when his Jeep Wrangler went off the road and down a rocky embankment. Ryan, whose clientele includes the oft-altered Heidi Montag, had just climbed a sandy dune overlooking Malibu with his border collie, Jill. The doctor had used Twitter and TwitPic to send out messages about his adventure shortly before the crash.

Now the investigation is looking at whether Ryan was using his smartphone while driving, and whether that, and having his dog unrestrained in the car, caused his fatal crash. Ryan's ex-girlfriend Charmaine Blake told a reporter "he was texting while driving and he accidentally went over the cliff," says the Huffington Post.

While there has been no official confirmation of the cause of the accident, CHP investigators "have confirmed that Ryan had been texting," reports CBS News. "Experts say both activities - texting while driving and driving with an unrestrained pet - can contribute to car accidents."