Many states have laws making it illegal to text while driving. Even so, there are many people who continue to text regardless of whether it is against the law, just as many people drive above the posted speed limit or drink and drive. A recent car vs. bicycle accident here in Wisconsin is being attributed to driver negligence. Police suspect the woman was texting at the time the accident occurred.
A man riding his bicycle in Little Chute was struck by a car shortly after 12 a.m. He was taken to an area hospital after the accident. Despite the efforts of medical personnel at the hospital, the bicycle rider succumbed to his injuries and died a week later. His bicycle had working lights and reflectors when the accident occurred.
According to the investigators, the evidence at the scene indicates that the driver of the car that hit the bicycle rider did not even try to stop. The driver has since been accused of texting while she was driving. She has been formally charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle. At last report, the driver was in jail waiting to be arraigned.
According to Wisconsin law, the family of the deceased bicycle rider retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver. If the driver is convicted of a crime in connection with the car vs. bicycle accident, that conviction may be offered as evidence by the family in a related civil proceeding in order to prove that the driver was negligent and that her actions caused or contributed to the death of their loved one. Monetary compensation will never be able to replace the loss the family has suffered, but it may help them recoup the costs and damages sustained as a result of the tragedy.
Source: whbl.com, “Woman Charged in Fatal Outagamie Texting Crash,” Jan. 21, 2013