HAVERHILL, Mass. - In a landmark case out of Massachusetts, 18-year-old Aaron Deveau was convicted of causing a fatal accident while texting.
He was sentenced to one year in jail and becoming the first person in that state to be convicted of a new criminal charge, texting while driving negligently and causing injury, that just took effect in September 2010.
Last February, a then 17-year-old Deveau was driving a car that crossed the center line and crashed head-on into a pickup truck driven by 55-year-old Donald Bowley, who would die from his injuries a few weeks later.
During his trial it was revealed that Deveau had sent 193 texts from his mobile phone on the day of the accident. Deveau testified that he never sent any of the texts while driving, that he drifted into the wrong lane while thinking about homework. Police say this is not true, and they had phone records showing some of the texts sent from Deveau’s phone were done so moments before the fatal collision.
On Wednesday, the jury sided with prosecutors and found Deveau guilty of motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation while texting. Later that same day, Deveau was sentenced to 2 ½ years behind bars with a year to serve and the remainder suspended. He will also have to perform 40 hours of community service and lose his driver’s license for 15 years.
“There are no winners today. A beloved grandfather is dead. A once active woman can no longer work and is still racked with pain from her injuries and a young man is going to jail,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “The Massachusetts Legislature passed a law banning texting and driving because it is so dangerous. As we saw in this case in a split second, many lives are forever changed.”
I normally post these stories to scare the hell out of myself, as I have a teen who just got his license and like most teens, he usually has his face buried in his phone as he sends and receives text messages 24/7. Since I am an adult and automatically placed in the teenager category of stupid and clueless, I like to send stories like this to his Facebook so he and his friends can see their peers and how they destroyed their lives, and others, in just a matter of seconds.
Interestingly enough, it’s not even teens I see on the road causing problems by texting, but rather adults talking on them. If you cannot maintain a steady speed while talking on a mobile phone, please hang up before I lose it and ram you and your stupid ass crossover, with the stupid ass family member stickers on the back window, right into a friggin’ ditch.Tags: Aaron Deveau, crash, Crime, Donald Bowley, Massachusetts, texting