18-year-old Aaron Deveau has been convicted of motor vehicle homicide and texting while operating a motor vehicle negligently and causing injury, after a February 2012 accident that killed a 55-year-old man in Massachusetts.
Deveau was 17 at the time of the collision, when his 2001 Chevy Malibu struck the 1992 Toyota Camry of Donald Bowley Jr. of Danville, New Hampshire. Bowley initially survived the accident and was hospitalized, but ultimately died of the injuries he incurred a few weeks later at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
The texting teen’s actions also affected Bowley’s passenger Luz Selena, who was severely injured in the crash. Deveau’s trial opened at the end of May, and prosecutor Ashlee Logan maintained that the texting teen’s messaging fixation was a heavy contributor to the crash’s outcome.
According to a local news source, the texting teen received nearly 200 texts the day of the crash, which occurred in the mid-afternoon:
“[Deveau] said Deveau sent or received 193 texts on the day of the crash, including some just moments before the collision. Police said they were notified of the crash by four 911 calls that came in between 2:36 and 2:58 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2011, the day of the accident. The crash is believed to have happened just moments before the first 911 call to police.”
A lawyer for Deveau maintains that while his client was distracted before the crash, the teen had not been texting. Deveau was sentenced to one year in prison and his license was suspended for a further 15 years. The texting teen was the first person in the state to be charged under texting and negligent driving laws.