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Whitney Yaeger Gets 45 Days For Texting And Driving Related Death

Texting While Driving

According to his family, 55-year-old Dave Muslovski had a fitness goal he wanted to attain as he neared retirement. He’d been on a mission to lose at least 100 pounds, but managed to lose nearly 165, walking eighteen miles, nine in the morning and nine at night, every day for nine months. Muslovski ventured out for his first nine miles on a morning walk in 2010 near Youngstown, Ohio when he was struck by a 19-year-old driver, Whitney Yaeger. She’d taken her eyes off the road to attend to a text on her cellphone. Yaeger didn’t seen Muslovski, even though he’d been wearing reflective gear.

Muslovski was rushed to the hospital but died as a result of the accident. Yaeger, now 22, was charged with vehicular homicide and sentenced to 45 days in jail, three years of probation, and 200 hours community service in which she must speak to young drivers about her experience. The sentence received shock and awe; most considering it a slap on the wrist considering it resulted in the death of another. Texting while driving in Ohio was not against the law at the time the accident occurred.

Tina Yanssens, Muslovski’s daughter, said the family found out a week later that her father had died because of texting while driving. NBC Newsquoted Yanssens saying:

“We got a phone call from the local media, wanting our response to the fact that the young girl had just admitted that she was texting and driving. And quite frankly, we hadn’t known up to that point. We just assumed that it was a standard traffic accident.”

Devastated by the mere non-existent sentence the teen driver received, Muslovski’s family lobbied to change Ohio State driving laws, banning texting while driving. It took effect in August 2012. It is now illegal to text while driving in 39 states.

Jennifer Smith, an advocate for laws that inhibit texting while driving, said:

“People are getting a slap on the wrist for this. And who knows how many cases we don’t even know about because people aren’t admitting it and we’re not checking the cell phone records.”

Fellow advocates argue that texting and driving is akin to drinking while driving, just as dangerous and should carry more serious punishments.

Smith reasoned that:

“In drunk driving cases you see normal sentences anywhere from two to 15 years and up. With texting and driving, you can see virtually no punishment, to a few days in jail, up to 30 days. And in a few cases there’s been one, two years.”

Paul Atchley, cognitive psychology professor at Kansas University, reinforced the risks associated with drunk driving and texting while driving:

“If driving drunk is a 400 percent increase in crash risk texting’s been shown to be possibly a 2,300 percent increase in crash risk. You have to have your hands on a device and not on the wheel. You have to have your eyes off of the road and on this device. And you have to think about it because speaking, constructing speech even though you’re typing it out, is a hard thing for the brain to do.”

WKBN27 reported that in court Muslovski’s wife, Denise, gave a statement before Yaeger’s sentence was handed down:

“Often I lie awake at night and I envision what he must have seen the very last few moments. You driving towards him, his jumping out of the way, trying to avoid the collision, you never seeing him.”

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14 Responses to “Whitney Yaeger Gets 45 Days For Texting And Driving Related Death”

  1. Aimee Boswell

    That Jennifer Smith …"an advocate for texting and driving laws". must be a real twit. That is until I did MY OWN research and is now convinced it is the editor(s) at The Inquisitir. She is an advocate for laws AGAINST texting and driving.

  2. Nessa Spikes

    She definitely needed more than 45 days. How many deaths is going to take before adults and teens alike realize that texting while driving is dangerous. I was in an accident in '07 that was caused from text messaging and that kid is lucky he didn't kill me. Since that day I don't even touch my phone while driving.

  3. Linda French

    This is illegal in California and you still see people doing it everyday. Phones should not be used period when you are suppose to be concentrating on driving. You can make as many laws as you want, people will still do what they want. I think they should get vehicular manslaughter and face real jail time. Its called the concequences of your actions.

  4. David Mackiewicz

    Isn't this covered under reckless driving? Do we really need separate laws for eating and driving, putting makeup on, reading, having sex…

  5. Matthew Boros

    Vehicular homicide/manslaughter should be changed to second degree murder. The misdemeanor charge added should be violation of a pedestrian's right of way. The probation conditions should stand but she should lose her license and serve the state's mandatory minimum sentence for the second degree murder if I was the prosecutor. That's what I'd request and have her tried in state court instead of family court so that she will face adult time and also send a message to people who talk/text and drive if you injure or kill somebody you will pay the price. I hope the insurance drops her flat on her add

  6. Anonymous

    It is murder pure and simple and should be handled as such. And premeditated to boot. Same with drunk driving and inattentive driving. We need to recognize that a car is a murder weapon in those instances where a death arises.

  7. Kathy Patrick

    45 days in jail for killing someone? OMG Laws need to get a whole lot tougher. I do not use my phone AT ALL when I am driving. If it is emergency, they will keep calling back, and I will know to pull over. Its just not worth injuring or killing someone. WHEN will people learn. I know, I know, people still drink and drive and that's illegal. That's right, and laws need to get tougher on that too. I think it should be made illegal to use a phone period while driving, and get those cops out there enforcing it big time.

  8. Matthew Boros

    charge her with 2nd Degree Murder along with careless driving. she'll have a felony on her sheet and a couple points on her license. also have her license suspended or revoked. after she serves the mandatory minimum for the felony charge her probation should include not being allowed to have a cellular phone and for community service she should have to repeat the whole process of getting a license again. also have her lecture in schools about safe driving.

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