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NJ Jury Convicts Driver of Fatal Texting-Behind-the-Wheel Accident

December 5, 2019

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Guilty Verdict in 2016 Pedestrian Death

Last month, a Monmouth County jury returned a verdict convicting Alexandra Mansonet, 50, of the vehicular homicide of Yuwen Wang, 39.

Pedestrian Killed by Vehicle Involved in Rear-End Collision

Wang was killed in an accident that occurred on September 28, 2016. While on a walk during a short break from work, Wang was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. The vehicle that hit Wang was itself struck in a rear-end collision by a vehicle driven by Mansonet, who failed to stop in time to avoid a collision as the two vehicles were traveling along Laurel Avenue in Hazlet, NJ.

Monmouth County Prosecutors Allege Driver Was Distracted by Texting Behind the Wheel

Prosecutors charged Mansonet with vehicular homicide following the accident, when investigators discovered that Mansonet had likely been texting on her mobile phone in the moments leading up to the accident. At trial, the state alleged that Mansonet had failed to come to a stop and caused the rear-end collision that led to Wang’s fatal accident because Mansonet’s attention was distracted by a text from a family member regarding dinner plans.

Mansonet testified in her own defense, denying that she was distracted by her cell phone right before the accident. Instead, Mansonet claimed that she had read the text from her family member before leaving for work. Mansonet testified that she was turning off her vehicle’s windshield wipers and turning on the defroster when she looked up, too late to stop her vehicle in time to avoid rear-ending the car in front. The collision then pushed the front vehicle, which was stopped, into Wang.

Jury Convicts Driver for Causing Fatal Accident While Texting-and-Driving

The jury, apparently disbelieving Mansonet’s testimony, convicted her of vehicular homicide. Mansonet now faces a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

This case should be a warning to drivers across New Jersey that they can be held responsible if they cause an accident by being distracted by texting or cell phone use while behind the wheel. If texting-while-driving can be the basis for imposing criminal liability when it causes a fatal accident, it can almost certainly be the basis for imposing civil liability in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle accident caused by texting and driving. 

If you or a loved one were harmed by a driver who was distracted by cell phone use behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, you need dedicated, knowledgeable legal representation that can help you obtain compensation for your losses. It may be possible for a skilled attorney to recover evidence showing that a driver was using his or her cell phone in the moments leading up to your accident; for example, text or call logs can show that the driver was on his or her phone during the accident. Proving that a driver was distracted while texting behind the wheel can be strong evidence of negligence in a civil lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries or wrongful death arising from an accident caused by a distracted driver.

Contact a Morristown 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 motor vehicle 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 New Jersey personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Hoyt & Hoyt, PC represent clients injured because of motor vehicle accidents in Parsippany, Mount Olive, Rockaway, Roxbury, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 292-2299 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 67 E. Park Pl. 5th Floor, Morristown, NJ, 07960 as well as offices in New Brunswick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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