A 19-year-old Brooklyn woman was recently charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with a September car accident that left a 53-year-old man dead. The accident allegedly occurred as the woman attempted to return a text message, and is yet another example of the dangers of distracted driving.
According to the prosecutors bringing the new criminal charge, the woman had retrieved a text message and was attempting to respond when she collided with the victim. The man who was killed had been riding a scooter delivering Chinese food and was sitting at the stoplight near East 17th Street and Avenue P in the Midwood neighborhood.
An investigation showed that the woman had retrieved a text message at 11:15 p.m. and the accident was reported at 11:17 p.m. A half-composed response text message was found saved on the woman’s phone, leading police to conclude that she was returning the last message when the fatal collision occurred.
The potential criminal consequences for the woman include four years in prison if convicted on the negligent homicide charge. As for civil consequences, it isn’t clear if a civil lawsuit is in the works, but it appears that this incident might lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.
The family of the man killed in the accident has reportedly been forced to sell his Chinese restaurant and now has no source of income. Among the damages that could be recovered in such a case would be lost future earnings, as well as pain of suffering of the victim, and loss of support and companionship.
Source: New York Post, “Text” gal hit with slay rap – teen B’klyn driver ran over deliveryman, William J. Gorta and Rebecca Harshbarger, 12/14/10