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Texting-while-driving killer waives preliminary hearing

The Volant, PA woman who killed a man while he was riding his motorcycle in May has just waived her right to a preliminary hearing. Scheduled to take place 4 September 2013, she and her lawyer have decided to wait until the case proceeds to the court of common pleas.

Initially charged with vehicular homicide, she now also faces involuntary manslaughter, texting while driving, careless driving, aggravated assault with a vehicle, and an accident involving damage to an attended vehicle.

The accident took place 7 May 2013 when the defendant hit a Scott Township (Lawrence County) man who was attempting to make a left hand turn on his motorcycle on Route 956 in neighboring Hickory Township, just outside of New Castle in Lawrence County. As the motorcyclist was stopped and waiting to make the turn, the woman in question plowed into the back of his bike, dragging he and his motorcycle beneath her car, killing him.

The woman said nothing to reporters as she entered the courtroom. Her lawyer said little more. Court officials expect some sort of plea deal as small Scott Township still mourns the loss of 68-year-old, former chief, Dan Gallatin.

Shortly after the accident, police obtained a search warrant for the woman's phone records. It was eventually determined that she did indeed have an unsent text message open during the time the crash occurred.

It seems that although we hear stories such as this about the dangers of texting while driving all the time, there are still people all around us on roadways looking down on their phones and taking their eyes off the road every day. It's almost as if it's no longer enough that you keep yourself from texting while driving, but that you remain conscious of anyone else on the road who may be texting or driving while distracted. Do your part and remain alert, don't drive while distracted or tired, and never get behind the wheel if you have been drinking or taking narcotics.

Source: New Castle News, "Defendant waives hearing in motorcyclist's death." 4 September 2013

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