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Texting driver charged after fatal crash in Connecticut


Posted by Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Jul 16, 2013 in Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

We see drivers doing it all the time. They are looking down and miss a stop sign or fail to see a pedestrian, all the while their faces are lit up by a touch screen behind the wheel. These drivers are so distracted by their cellphones that they completely lose focus on their surroundings. All too often, this form of distraction ends tragically in fatal car accident

For years now, efforts have been made to dissuade people from texting and driving or using their cellphones in any capacity behind the wheel. Connecticut is one state that has taken a strong stance against cellphone use behind the wheel by banning any use of a hand-held phone while driving. Still, drivers take the risk of breaking the law and injuring people simply because they cannot put their phones away. 

One such driver recently turned herself in after police say she was involved in a fatal accident in Connecticut caused by texting. Witnesses, including a police officer, have reported that they saw the woman looking down at her phone immediately before she crashed into a motorcyclist, killing the rider. A driver behind the woman stated that she never applied her brakes in the seconds before the accident, indicating that she was likely too distracted to notice the motorcyclist.

Accidents caused by a texting or distracted driver are among those that are completely preventable. If a driver would just put down the phone and stay focused on driving safely, it is likely that many of these accidents could be avoided. But too many people are missing the message that distracted driving can be fatal.

One way to send a clear message in the aftermath of these crashes is to hold the negligent driver accountable for his or her actions. In some cases, they face jail time for criminal charges. But this may not always be enough for the families of a victim. In many situations, it is possible for family members to pursue civil charges in addition to or in lieu of criminal charges. It is true that money cannot undo the tragedy of a fatal accident, but it can help loved ones hold a negligent driver responsible and be compensated for the damages suffered as a result of the devastating loss. 

Source: WTNH, "PD: woman arrested for fatal accident in Wolcott," Erin Logan, July 15, 2013