Just this week, Prosecutors in Essex County, NJ, charged a woman with vehicular homicide allegedly caused by her distraction from texting while driving. Witnesses saw the defendant’s vehicle swerve from the Route 1 and 9 express lane into the local lane and strike the victim’s pickup truck, causing the truck to flip over and eject the victim, killing him instantly. Witnesses confirm that the defendant’s head was down at the time of the crash, not paying attention to the road, and she appeared to be texting. If convicted, the defendant faces ten years in prison. This is the first such prosecution under the new texting while driving statute in Essex County.
At the sentencing of a similar Somerset County texting case in June, Judge Robert Reed made an impassioned plea to young drivers: “Eleven of you will die in this country because of texting and driving!…For God’s sake, stop it lest you stand where [the defendant] stands today.”