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Texting at fault in vehicular homicide case
[February 04, 2011]

Texting at fault in vehicular homicide case


Feb 03, 2011 (Fergus Falls Daily Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Kayla Carry sent or received 15 text messages in the minutes prior to a Sept. 15 head-on collision that resulted in the death of 77-year-old Lucille Vogt and left Carry critically injured.



Carry is now facing 10 years in prison for vehicular homicide in connection with the head-on collision that drives home the seriousness of using cellular telephones while driving.

Carry, 18, has been charged in Otter Tail County District Court with operating her vehicle in a grossly negligent manner for her involvement in a Sept. 15 crash on Highway 29 near Parkers Prairie.


According to court records, Carry is accused crossing the center line and hitting head-on a vehicle driven Vogt. Vogt later died of her injuries at Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria. Carry was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital.

Cellular phone records obtained during an investigation by the Minnesota State Patrol show that not only had Carry sent or received 15 text messages that morning, she sent an outgoing text message at 8:20 a.m. that morning. The first 911 call reporting the accident came into the Otter Tail County Dispatch Center at 8:24 a.m., court records state.

The accident drives home the importance of a Minnesota state law that prohibits motorists from operating a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to compose, read or send an electronic message, said Trooper Jesse Grabow, the communications officer for the Detroit Lakes office of the Minnesota State Patrol.

"Driving is challenging enough. You add non-driving activities like texting while driving and you just increase the risks of a crash," Grabow said.

In Minnesota, one in four crashes are the result of distracted driving -- which includes texting while driving, Grabow said.

"Last year in Minnesota there were 70 deaths and 350 serious injuries as the result of distracted driving," Grabow said.

Those numbers are vastly underestimated, Grabow believes, because of the challenges law enforcement can face determining the cause of an accident, he said.

Carry told State Patrol investigators that she has no recollection of the crash itself.

She says she had left a friend's house in Carlos to go see a friend in Hewitt when she be can communication with a third friend in Alexandria who wanted her to go visit her.

Carry told investigators that she had turned around and was heading back towards Alexandria at the time of the crash.

To see more of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://fergusfallsjournal.com. Copyright (c) 2011, Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Minn. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.

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