The teenage driver who struck and killed a 40-year-old woman earlier this month has been charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of a controlled substance, reckless driving, and other charges. According to the article in The Delaware County Daily Times, the teen was texting, driving under the influence of marijuana, and not paying attention to the road when he struck the jogger.
The accident occurred on March 4 along the 400 block of North Lewis Road in Limerick, PA. The victim was jogging against traffic when the impaired driver became distracted, veered across the road and hit her from behind.
The teen is the first person to be prosecuted under a fairly new law in Pennsylvania that prohibits reading, writing, and sending text messages while operating a vehicle. The Pennsylvania texting law went into effect last March. According to state officials, 57 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in Pennsylvania in 2012.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study that found that 58 % of high school seniors and 43 % of high school juniors admit to texting or e-mailing while driving. Research shows that teens may have more difficulty than experienced drivers to manage distracting behaviors while driving.
The article said that the teenage driver was also under the influence of marijuana when the crash happened. Driving under the influence of drugs also leads to a DUI charge. Marijuana can cause disorientation, altered time and space perception, drowsiness, paranoia, image distortion, and increased heart rate. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2009 showed that one in five motorists killed in car crashes tested positive for drugs.
In addition to facing criminal charges for his negligent actions, the driver here could also face a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of this pedestrian. The victim's family would be well advised to consult with a Pennsylvania wrongful death attorney who can help them deal with the financial aspects of this accident. Financial compensation for the family may include funeral expenses, loss of wages, and burial costs. Marciano & MacAvoy, P.C. are experienced, knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys who can help you cope with your loved one's accident. Call us today for a free consultation.
Source: The Delaware County Daily Times, D.A.: Teen driver was texting, high on pot when he fatally struck jogger in Limerick, March 22, 2013