Uh, sorry…there is no texting allowed from jail.

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 

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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6 Responses to Uh, sorry…there is no texting allowed from jail.

  1. Avatar of stormchaser stormchaser says:

    Good post. I have seen way too many people cruising down the road texting. A few weeks ago we were driving down one of the major streets here, and some guy was cruising along and had to slam on his breaks and narrowly avoided rear ending a car at the stop light. Even after that, he went back to his texting. We turned at that light to get away from him not wanting to find out what would happen if he switched lanes into the side of us.

  2. Katherine says:

    Why only one year?

  3. Dave Larson says:

    I like this piece, Carol, it’s always worthy to mention, yet I feel the ears/eyes it’s most worthy to fall on, will never read or comprehend it. I think it relates to a far broader problem that’s evolved throughout this nation, which is self-absorption, rather than being conscientious about safety & the welfare of others. I believe the concept of “he who dies with the most toys, wins”, is back and is doing nothing for the betterment of mankind.

  4. lois says:

    Dear Ms. C: I cannot agree with you more on the affects of distracted driving. Lucille was my Mother, and we all think about her and miss her everyday. This has changed our family forever. Being at her bedside and seeing her pass away from her injuries caused by this girl, is something I will never forget. I hope no one will have to go through this. I agree with the statement that society is so self absorbed, and the “it’s all about me” attitude. Anyway, thank you for your comment!!

  5. John says:

    I think this is one of the most Outradgeous Injustices I’ve ever heard of. I new that the people in these states were naive, but I realized just how backwards people in these states are. It’s disgusting that a person can kill another innocent human being and only get 1 yr in jail ! Her vehicle became so instrumental in this vehicular homicide due to her neglegeince.
    Now Lucilles family is left holding the pieces to pick up their lives. The stinking lawyers in these cases have the gall to plea bargain and the judges have to conform to the law. Kayla should be put away for at least 20 yrs or 40 yrs just for being allowed to text while driving.

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