Texting Teen Sentenced in Fatal Traffic Accident

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that a teen-age boy in another state was sentenced to two and a half years in jail for causing a fatal car accident while he was texting and driving. He will only have to serve one year of his sentence behind bars.

At the time of the accident the boy was 17-years-old. His vehicle crossed the center line and he crashed head-on into the victim's car. He killed a man and seriously injured a passenger. He was charged with motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation while texting. Records show he sent 193 text messages that day, including some within a minute of the crash.

As one of the first people convicted under a new law, the maximum possible sentence is four years in jail. He must also serve 40 hours of community service and will not get his license reinstated for 15 years.

The injured passenger was riding in the decedent's vehicle and has had to undergo extensive hospital stays and medical bills to recovery from her injuries

Here in California, there has been a law in place since 2009 that makes it illegal to write, send, or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device while driving a motor vehicle.

Similarly, in another texting-while-driving accident, a 23-year-old woman in another state was sentenced for felony vehicular homicide. She killed a motorcyclist while texting and driving on a two-lane highway in southern Minnesota. She was sentenced to 10 years of probation, 480 hours of community service and $200,000 in restitution.

Source: sfgate.com, "Mass. Teen guilty in texting-while-driving crash," June 6, 2012

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