The 19 year old woman (Kayla Carry of Browerville, Minnesota) who was charged with criminal vehicular homicide after killing someone because she was texting and driving entered a guilty plea yesterday. Under the plea agreement she will only serve a year in jail.
Carry’s car crossed the center line and hit another car head on. Lucille Vogt (77) of Parkers Prairie, Minnesota was killed as a result. The criminal complaint in the case cited that 15 text messages were sent or received from Carry’s phone in the 40 minutes before the crash and that distracted driving was the cause of the accident. Amazingly, many teenagers will tell you that 15 text messages in 40 minutes is not all that many…but to prosecutors that is evidence of 15 points in time where Carry was not paying requisite attention to the road.
Texting and driving is against the law in both North Dakota and Minnesota (not to mention a myriad of other states). The laws likewise prohibit email reading and composition while driving. The laws provide penalties for these activities as a mechanism by which to dissuade drivers from engaging in this terribly risky behavior. Unfortunately, the epidemic of distracted drivers continues – many folks still text with abandon while driving and many folks with smart phones ironically evidence a lack of intellegence by reading and composing email while driving.
But take a tip from Carry who will be in jail for the next year – if you injure or kill someone by virtue of your distracted driving you may very well be prosecuted and find yourself doing jail or prison time. As for Carry’s texting friend network – uh, sorry…there is no texting allowed from jail. Her only social interaction for the next year will be with guards and other inmates…at least she’ll have that. Lucille’s days of social interaction are over – all because of a text message.
Please think about Lucille the next time you feel compelled to text or email and drive. Consider whether your text or email message is really worth another person’s life. I suspect it is not. Be sensible folks keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel it only takes one distracted moment to change everything.
Day seven hundred and eighty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da