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Criminal charges against driver who was texting before accident

By now it is fair to say that most drivers in Western Pennsylvania are aware that texting while driving is a risky action. Nonetheless, individuals behind the wheel are regularly unable to avoid the practice. In the worst cases the action leads to a motor vehicle accident that claims the life of another.

A woman from this part of the state is all too aware of this. Earlier this month she was behind the wheel of a car that struck and killed a 68-year-old man who previously acted as a volunteer fire chief. At the time of the afternoon accident, the man was riding his motorcycle. As he did so, the woman's vehicle hit the man and his motorcycle, and dragged him along the road.

In the course of the investigation that was conducted following the incident, it was uncovered that at the time of the crash the woman had a text message open. Those findings, along with the fact that the man died, led authorities to charge the 42-year-old woman with involuntary manslaughter and homicide by vehicle. The consequences associated with a criminal conviction on these charges are serious. 

Though unclear at this point, it is possible that in addition to the criminal case, the woman could face a civil wrongful death lawsuit as well. Only time will tell whether any loved ones he left behind decide to pursue such an action. In retrospect the woman likely wishes she could turn back time and not engage in the distracted driving behavior.

Source: San Francisco Gate, "Pa. woman charged with texting before fatal crash," May 20, 2013

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