Aaron Deveau, a resident of Massachusetts and 18 years old was convicted of vehicular homicide in a landmark case. The teen was accused of texting while driving which lead to the death of Donald Bowley, 55 from Danville, New Hampshire and caused severe injuries to Mr. Bowley’s girlfriend, Luz Roman, 59. The judge sentenced Deveau to two years on the texting and causing injury charge and two and a half years for the homicide charge. He will serve at least one year in prison and his license will be suspended for 15 years.
On February 20, 2011, according to the prosecution, Deveau’s car veered into the other lane of a two lane road and hit the vehicle that Mr. Bowley was driving. Bowley later died on March 20, 2011, due to the significant head trauma that he received as a result of the crash. Deveau, in an effort to conceal the fact that he was texting erased some of the incriminating text messages and developed and elaborate story of what occurred. In a taped interview to the police, Deveau said “I was tired. I was distracted. When I looked away for one quick second, I came too close to her and I was trying to hit my brakes.”
The laws in place for cell phone use vary depending on the state. 10 states, D.C., Guam and the Virgin Island prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. 32 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by “novice drivers”. School drivers in 19 states and D.C. may not use a cell phone when passengers are present. 39 states, D.C., Guam, and the Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. On top of that 5 states prohibit text messaging by “novice drivers” and 3 states restrict school bus drivers from texting. This landmark case may eventually lead to one conclusion, the banning of all cell phone use no matter what state or country you are in.
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