Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Teen charged with DUI and texting in fatal car accident

In studies done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 20 percent of highway injury crashes involve reports of distracted driving. These figures are compounded when the driver is a teenager texting and driving while under the influence.

According to police investigators in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a teenager was hit with double charges involving texting while driving under the influence and causing a fatal highway crash in which two people were killed. The incident took place last year on June 11, 2012, when the Nanty Glo, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, teenager was allegedly texting before he crossed into oncoming traffic in Richland Township.

According to police reports, the two victims in the other vehicle suffered fatal injuries and were identified as a 71-year-old resident of Conemaugh Township, and his 19-year-old granddaughter. The plaintiff surrendered on June 24, 2013, following charges of homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter. He made no statement but apologized to the family of the two victims.

Legal representatives for the defense claim that the teenager was not texting or drinking, but was distracted when a bird flew into his windshield. Police reports indicate the nineteen-year-old was not legally drunk, but was charged as a minor when tests proved the presence of alcohol in his system.

The double charges filed in this case reflect the growing trend of automobile incidents since the appearance of cell phones and texting. While studies show that 86% of drivers between the ages of sixteen to nineteen admit to texting while driving, they claim they are used to multi-tasking and are convinced nothing bad will happen to them. In today's society of instantaneous communication, distracted driving is on the rise.

If you or someone you know has been a car accident victim, it would be wise to seek legal advice from wrongful death attorneys, in order to inform yourself of your rights under the law and to protect you, your family or friends from becoming victims of a car accident caused by a distracted driver.

Source:, "Pennsylvania Teen Charged With Double Fatal Texting DUI" No author given, Jun. 25, 2013

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