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Switch to Forum Live View 18 yr old Sentenced for Texting and Driving.
2 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2012 - 7:47PM #1
Estacia
Posts: 2,209

A Massachusetts teenager was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison and loss of his license for 15 years for causing a fatal crash by texting while driving.



Aaron Deveau, 18, was convicted of motor vehicle homicide by texting – the first driver in Massachusetts to face such charges, the Boston Globe reported. Prosecutors said Deveau, who pleaded not guilty, was texting on Feb. 20, 2011, when his vehicle swerved across the center line of a Haverhill, Mass., street and crashed head on into Daniel Bowley’s truck, killing the 55-year-old New Hampshire father of three.


Bowley’s sister, Donna Burleigh, said her brother suffered severe head trauma and lingered in a Boston hospital for 18 days before dying.




Before imposing the maximum sentence on Deveau, District Court Judge Stephen Abany said he was sending a message of deterrence to Massachusetts drivers.


Deterrence “really seems to come to play in this case,’’ Abany said, according to the Globe report. “People really want to be safe on the highways.’’ People need to “keep their eyes on the road, keep their eyes on the road.’’


David Teater, senior director of transportation initiative at the National Safety Council, agreed with the ruling and said he believes it’s important to take a hardline approach on cases of texting while driving.


“People can violate these laws and there really isn’t much of a deterrence without examples like this,” Teater told msnbc.com. “Clearly, being distracted is an extremely deadly thing that’s going on in this country and people need to understand they just can’t do it.”


Deveau, who was 17 at the time of the crash, was initially charged with motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, using a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle, reading or sending an electronic message, a marked lanes violation and two counts of negligent operation and injury from mobile phone use.


Deveau’s lawyer argued there was no evidence that the crash caused Bowley’s death. In his own testimony, Deveau said he was distracted by the amount of homework he had to do and sent his last text message while parked in the parking lot of the grocery store where he worked. Furthermore, he said he left his phone in the passenger’s seat until after the crash when he called his parents.


Though he insisted he was not texting at the time of the crash and could not remember texting while driving, phone records indicate Deveau sent a text message at 2:34 p.m. and received a response at 2:35 p.m. Police said the crash occurred at 2:35 p.m., ABCNews.com reported.


“I made a mistake,’’ Deveau told the judge, according to the Globe. “If I could take it back, I would take it back. I just want to apologize to the family.’’


A survivor of the crash – Bowley’s girlfriend, Luz Roman – said she suffered emotional and physical stress after the crash and death of Bowley, the father of her three children.


“This has been giving me a lot of pain, there are no words to describe,’’ Roman said, according to the Globe. “Broken leg, broken heart.’’


“We hope this sends a message that it’s not OK to text and drive,’’ Burleigh said, according to the Globe.


Texting while driving is a crime in Washington, D.C., and 38 states, including Massachusetts.


“This is a threat that did not exist just a few years ago, and we’ve never had to understand how being connected to a mobile world was dangerous,” Teater told msnbc.com. “Unfortunately now the way we’re beginning to understand the danger of it is by people getting hurt and dying. And that needs to change.”



Edit: not sure why the post had extra spaces, since it didn't yesterday.  While editing I underscored the links.

Moderated by Stardove on Jun 07, 2012 - 07:15PM
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2012 - 8:27PM #2
karbie
Posts: 3,329

Two years in prison for vehicular homicide is not a long sentence. As to revoking the driving license for 15 years--I imagine that part will be appealed and reduced later on, but it would not have been surprising if his license to drive was revoked for life.


Teenagers are distracted enough drivers without texting. Three children no longer have a father, and if he wasn't married to their mother, she may not get any income or benefits herself. I hope that the children do.


I doubt that any message was important enough to be taken in traffic.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 06, 2012 - 8:45PM #3
LeahOne
Posts: 16,400

I agree.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 1:33AM #4
Estacia
Posts: 2,209

I agree w/ you Karbie!


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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 9:51AM #5
TemplarS
Posts: 6,865

Well, you know, this case sets a good example, but it is too late for Mr. Bowley and his family.


What is necessary is cracking down not one one individual but on the millions of others who text while driving and have not (yet) caused an accident.  That they have not (yet) caused an accident is called, in other circles, Russian Roulette.


I drive a lot and I see this constantly.


Maybe instead of radar guns, the police need detectors which can register outgoing signals from cell phones. 

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 9:58AM #6
LeahOne
Posts: 16,400

If he's caught behind the wheel in the next 15 years, I think execution would be appropriate....


I live in MA , and I'd like to keep doing so. 

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 10:16AM #7
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

You know the old saying... guns don't kill people, drivers with cell phones do.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 2:41PM #8
Erey
Posts: 18,940

sad story and one that should be used as a cautionary tale for all modern drivers.  Don't text and drive!

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 3:13PM #9
TemplarS
Posts: 6,865

A cautionary tale, sure- if anyone is listening.


It's no different from drunk driving.  Everybody knows not to drink and drive, but people still do it.  The thing is, drive drunk and there are severe penalties in most places, whether or not you kill someone or even get in an accident.


I don't know whether driving and texting is more or less dangerous than driving drunk.  But it sure is more apt to happen.  You need to be at a bar or a party before you drive drunk; chances are, you have your cell phone with you all the time; sort of like driving with an open fifth of bourbon on the seat next to you (which BTW is also illegal in some places).

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 07, 2012 - 3:52PM #10
Estacia
Posts: 2,209

TemplarS & Erey,


!00% Agree w/ you.


Texts can be mind altering!!!


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