Farris Law Blog

Fatal Consequences of Texting Teen Drivers

Driver will spend time behind bars as a result of fatal accident

In early June, a teenager was convicted of causing a fatal accident while texting under Massachusetts criminal law.

Aaron Deveau, who was just 17-years-old when the accident occurred, sent 193 text messages on the day of the accident that killed a 55-year-old man. Some of those text messages were sent a minute before the collision, which occurred when Deveau’s car crossed the center line and crashed head-on into the oncoming vehicle driving by a father of three, and dozens more were sent after.

Deveau was convicted of motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation while texting. He was sentenced to 2.5 years behind bars with one year to serve and the remainder of the sentence suspended. He must also perform 40 hours of community service and surrender his driver’s license for 15 years.

The case is a reminder of the tragic consequences that can flow from texting and driving. If you or someone you love has been injured or a loved one has been killed in a texting while driving accident, contact the Missouri personal injury lawyers at The S.E. Farris Law Firm. Call 314-A-LAWYER (314-252-9937) today for a free consultation.

Missouri Texting While Driving Law

Texting while driving – and cell phone use while driving – isn’t just a problem in Massachusetts. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, there were 791 cell phone-related crashes during the first half of 2010. Eight people were killed and 239 people were injured.

In 2009, Missouri passed a law prohibiting motorists 21 and under from driving while texting. Although the law only provides for a penalty if it is broken, it does not prevent a driver from being charged criminally.

That is what happened to 16-year-old Rachel Gannon. The young Missouri driver was texting, driving and listening to music when she lost control of her car. She crashed into vehicle being driven by a great-grandmother who had to be cut from the car and was pronounced dead that the hospital.

Earlier this summer, Gannon pled guilty to second-degree involuntary manslaughter, third degree assault and violating Missouri’s texting while driving ban. She was given 5 years probation, 72 days of house arrest and must perform 300 hours of community service.

In addition to criminal law consequences, a motorist may also face civil liability for the injuries resulting from texting while driving. Victims of texting and driving accidents may pursue negligence claims against a driver and seek to recover medical expenses, lost wages and other damages arising as a result of the crash.

Contact a St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a texting while driving accident, contact the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at The S.E. Farris Law Firm as soon as possible. The time to pursue a claim against a negligent driver is limited. Evidence that may help establish liability could be lost or destroyed as a result of a delay. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced Missouri attorney as soon as possible so that an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident can be conducted and that your rights are protected.

Call 314-A-LAWYER (314-252-9937) today for a free consultation.

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