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Woman sued for sending text to driver who crashed

A woman is being sued for sending a text message to a driver who caused a serious accident, the Huffington Post reports. The couple, who each lost a left leg in the accident, claim the woman who sent the text is culpable as she wilfully distracted the driver.

Is it a crime to send a text message to a person while they are driving?
Is it a crime to send a text message to a person while they are driving?

In 2009, Kyle Best crashed his car after receiving a text sent by Shannon Colonna. Best, who has admitted to reading the text, drifted his pick-up truck into oncoming traffic and collided with David and Linda Kubert’s motorbike.

The couple subsequently sued Best, who pleaded guilty to three separate offences: using a hand-held telephone while driving, careless driving and failure to maintain a lane. Best, who was 19 at the time, was fined $775 (£480) and ordered to speak to 14 high schools about the dangers of texting and driving. His license was not suspended.

The Kuberts, however, aren’t satisfied with this judgement alone and are now expanding their complaint to include Colonna. They claim that although she wasn’t physically present, she was “electronically present”, as the pair were texting back and forth “like a verbal conversation.”

Colonna’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the suit. “The sender of the text has the right to assume the recipient will read it at a safe time, they said. “It’s not fair. It’s not reasonable. Shannon Colonna has no way to control when Kyle Best is going to read that message.”

A Superior Court judge will decide whether Colonna can be included in the lawsuit on May 25th.

What do you think of the case — do the plaintiffs have a right to pursue Colonna, or is the driver purely responsible for his actions? Where does it end? Is the manufacturer of the pick-up at fault for building the car in the first place? Should the defendants’ parents be sued for bringing them into this world?

Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Image: mrJasonWeaver

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