Here’s the dark side of Facebook and cell phones: a 20-year-old North Dakota woman has been charged with negligent homicide after she rear-ended an SUV. She was driving at 85 miles per hour while posting messages to her Facebook account on her phone. The crash killed an 89-year-old great-grandmother from northwestern Minnesota.
Abby Sletten, of Hatton, N.D., appeared last week in court after being charged with killing Phyllis Gordon in the crash that occurred on Interstate 29 in May.
Police searched Sletten’s cellphone and “determined that [she] was viewing pictures on her Facebook … at the time of the crash,” according to the criminal complaint. “Sletten had also sent and received several text messages since she departed.”
A driver heading north told a Highway Patrol officer that he was traveling at 80 mph when Sletten’s SUV passed. The witness also saw another SUV slowing in an attempt to make a U-turn using an unauthorized crossover.
Sletten then crashed into the other SUV. According to the witness, her brake lights never engaged.
Gordon, a front-seat passenger in the SUV that Sletten hit, died at the scene.
Gordon’s granddaughter, driver Jennifer Myers, 34, and Myers’ daughters were injured but fortunately survived.
Police determined that Sletten was traveling 84 to 86 mph at the time of impact and there was no evidence that she attempted to brake. This “suggested the possibility that Sletten may have not seen the vehicle in front of her or that she was possibly distracted while driving,” according to the complaint.
Sletten told the investigating officer that she had no memory of the crash.
Gordon and her husband, James, raised a family of three children and farmed together near Borup, Minn. She worked in grocery stores and as a baker and a home health aide. Her survivors include eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Texting while driving is a serious problem
People who do this are six times more likely to cause a wreck than those who are drinking and driving. And ever notice how many people are looking down at their phones next to you as you are driving? One question that I always ask my new clients is whether he or she suspects that the other driver was on their cell phone at the time of the crash so that I can subpoena their cell phone records.
Your Legal Options If You Were Injured Due To A Texting Or Distracted Driver
If you were the victim of a crash where the other driver was texting or using his or her phone, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You should hire an aggressive personal injury attorney to file a claim and/or a lawsuit against the distracted driver.
Tenacious Tarrant County Legal Professionals Representing Victims of Collisions
We have been representing Texans injured in accidents for the past 34 years. We specialize in personal injury cases, which means that we do not also handle divorces, defend criminals, write wills, etc. And we only represent people who have been injured by accidents involving cars, trucks, 18 wheelers, bicycles and motorcycles — often hit by drivers who are DWI.
If you need an experienced Board Certified Fort Worth personal injury attorney who will provide you with aggressive legal representation, contact our office today to schedule a free initial consultation.
We have blogged about our serious problem with texting and driving on many occasions. Here are just a few of our previous posts: