N.J. Jury Convicts Driver of Vehicular Homicide for Texting Behind the Wheel
Guilty Verdict for NJ Resident
On November 22, 2019, a Monmouth County jury returned a guilty verdict, convicting Alexandra Mansonet, 50, of vehicular homicide for the death of a pedestrian.
Driver Kills Pedestrian in Collision
Yuwen Wang, 39, was killed in an accident that occurred on September 28, 2016, when she was hit while crossing the street. The vehicle that impacted Wang was involved in a rear-end accident started by Mansonet, who failed to stop her vehicle and collided into the vehicle in front of her as the two vehicles proceeded south along Laurel Avenue in Hazlet, NJ.
Prosecutors Argue Collision Caused by Distracted Texting
Mansonet was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, after investigators discovered that Mansonet had been texting on her cell phone moments prior to the accident. At trial, prosecutors argued that Mansonet failed to stop and caused the rear-end collision that ultimately killed Wang because Mansonet had been distracted by a text from a family member asking about dinner plans.
Mansonet denied that she was looking at her cell phone in the moments before the crash, asserting that she read the text before leaving work. Instead, Mansonet argued that she was using her vehicle’s windshield wipers and windshield defroster and looked up too late to stop her car in time to prevent the rear-end collision, which pushed the vehicle in front of Mansonet into Wang.
Jury Finds Texting-While-Driving Sufficient to Convict for Vehicular Homicide
The jury ultimately found Mansonet guilty of vehicular homicide. Mansonet now faces up to 10 years in prison for her conviction.
The effect of this case should serve to reinforce that drivers who take their focus off the road to text while driving and cause an accident as a result can be held responsible for their conduct. When texting while driving is considered a basis for a driver who causes a fatal car accident to be held criminally liable for homicide, it should serve as a warning that causing an accident while texting behind the wheel should also serve as a basis to find a driver negligent in a civil personal injury or wrongful death action. In addition, a finding of criminal liability for injuries or death arising from a motor vehicle accident caused by distracted driving while texting could also serve as evidence of tortious conduct in a civil action. If you believe you or a loved one were harmed in a motor vehicle accident caused by a driver texting behind the wheel, it is important that you hire experienced legal representation. It is often possible to obtain or recover evidence to prove that the at-fault driver was using his or her cell phone in the moments before an accident, including call or text logs or mobile application usage data. Proof that a driver was texting behind the wheel can often be strong evidence of negligence in a personal injury or wrongful death action arising from a motor vehicle accident.
Contact a Scotch Plains Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a distracted driving accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC represent clients injured because of motor vehicle accidents in Elizabeth, Union, Plainfield, Newark, and throughout New Jersey. Call (908) 325-5571 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1827 E. 2nd St., Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, as well as offices in Westfield, Newark, East Brunswick, Clifton, Cherry Hill, and Elizabeth.
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