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Texting-while-driving homicide case

(CNN) -- A Massachusetts teen was convicted Wednesday of homicide as a result of texting while driving and will serve one year in prison. In a landmark case for the

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Texting-while-driving homicide case

(CNN) -- A Massachusetts teen was convicted Wednesday of homicide as a result of texting while driving and will serve one year in prison.

In a landmark case for the state, Aaron Deveau, 18, was found guilty on charges of vehicular homicide, texting while driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle in a 2011 crash that fatally injured Donald Bowley, 55, of Danville, New Hampshire, and seriously injured a passenger in Bowley's car.

"I made a mistake," Deveau said Wednesday after his mother told the district court in Haverhill, Massachusetts he would not intentionally hurt anyone. "If I could take it back, I would take it back."

Judge Stephen Abany sentenced the teen to two and a half years on the vehicular homicide charge and two years on the texting and causing injury charge. He will serve one year concurrently on both charges and the balance of both charges is suspended for five years. His license will be suspended for 15 years.

"There are no winners today," Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement. "A beloved grandfather is dead. A once active woman can no longer work and is still racked with pain from her injuries and a young man is going to jail. When we get behind the wheel of a car, we are obligated to drive with care. ... As we saw in this case, in a split second, many lives are forever changed."

In the February 20, 2011, accident, prosecutors said, Deveau's car crossed the center line on a street in Haverhill, which is in northeast Massachusetts near New Hampshire, and hit the vehicle Bowley was driving.

Bowley's girlfriend, Luz Roman, 59, was in his car with him and suffered serious injuries.

Haverhill Detective Thomas Howell testified the impact left the two "almost folded into the floorboards."

Bowley died March 10, 2011, after he was taken off life support.

"My brother received such head trauma that ... there was no hope for him," Bowley's sister, Donna Burleigh, said in court.

Roman talked about the incident's continued impact.

"Loss of sleeping, loss of my boyfriend. So many losses, I can't tell you how many," she told the judge.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Ashlee Logan argued that Deveau may have erased some of his texts or lied to police after the accident about when he was texting.

Deveau said after the crash in a taped interview with police, which was played in court, "I was tired. I was distracted. When I looked away for one quick second, I came too close to her and I was trying to hit my brakes."

His defense lawyer said authorities set out from the beginning to link texting to the crash, a cause-and-effect relationship that he contends is not valid.

Some 38 states ban text messaging for all drivers, while 31 prohibit all cell phone use by "novice drivers," according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association.


Massachusetts teen convicted of homicide in texting-while-driving case - CNN.com
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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15 years suspended drivers license, I hope he lives close to where ever he works!
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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we need more prosecutions for this stuff. Especially around Atlanta, its crazy what these people are doing while driving.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This should apply for more than texting, like puttng make up while driving.

This guy just was made an EXAMPLE.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I wish more people would live by the lesson that my dad taught me the first time I drove with him. He said, "You're driving a 4000 pound weapon".

I had a girl behind me awhile back that was on the phone, smoking a cigarette and drinking a pop. AND, the car was a stick shift. I just about bailed out and ripped her a**.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TreeSemdyZee View Post
I wish more people would live by the lesson that my dad taught me the first time I drove with him. He said, "You're driving a 4000 pound weapon".

I had a girl behind me awhile back that was on the phone, smoking a cigarette and drinking a pop. AND, the car was a stick shift. I just about bailed out and ripped her a**.
Was taught the same lesson; a giant, two ton missile.

That being said, hopefully this case establishes precedent. There's a small two lane road to my old high school, and there have been so many crashes concerning mobile phone use that there are signs posted. Mobile phone use is prohibited under a 250 dollar fine. Great stuff.

But, the last thing we need are overzealous laws that make even touching your phone illegal if you're driving...
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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They should make it law where you can't have your damn dog in your lap while driving.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sad, multitasking + driving is a recipe for disaster .
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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15 years not long enough just saying
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I agree with a lot of the sentiment in this thread regarding distracted driving.

I'm pretty upset about the way the law is written in my home state. We have laws for reckless driving and endangerment, etc, etc. But they had to make explicit laws stating that holding a cell phone is a ticketable offense. The wording of the law attacked the symptom, not the cause. All this did was lead people to get bluetooth devices for their cars. That does not address the root of the problem, which is that people are more wrapped up in their conversations than they are in the activity of operating a motor vehicle. If we were serious about this sh1t, bluetooth phone service would be discontinued in cars.

And again, we already have reckless driving laws. Phone usage should have simply been placed under that umbrella, along with eating, putting on makeup, having dog on lap, etc.

People need to stop treating a commute as a boring task like washing dishes. It's a responsibility.

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Old 06-12-2012, 08:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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They should make it law where you can't have your damn dog in your lap while driving.
Some states are ticketing for that and for having the dog(s) without a restraint device.
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