A 19-year-old California driver has been charged with vehicular manslaughter after being involved in an accident that killed a 14-year-old boy.  The accident occurred on April 19 in Mantaca, California.  While drugs or alcohol did not appear to be a factor in this crash, the driver told police that she was attempting to reach for her cellphone at the time the accident occurred.  The driver’s bail was set at $100,000.

The driver struck four teenagers walking on the shoulder of the road as her car drifted to the right.  The 14-year-old boy died at the hospital.  Also injured were a 15-year-old and two 16-year-old boys.

Fatal accidents such as this one of course will affect the entire community. “We have quite a few of our teenagers that are connected to these kids,” stated a local pastor. “A couple in particular are having a very hard time.”

Distracted driving has become a major topic in recent years because so many individuals use cellphones while operating a motor vehicle. Though such an activity may seem harmless enough, this accident demonstrates that to be anything but the case. Pedestrians, bicycle riders and other motor vehicle operators are all put at risk when individuals appear to be paying more attention to their cellphone than they are to the road.

And while the criminal court system will punish individuals that are caught engaging in such practices, it does little for victims or family members of victims injured or killed in an accident. While personal injury attorneys cannot undo what has occurred, they can at least investigate such matters and help bring some closure after a senseless accident. They can also make certain that the needs of victims and family members are addressed.

Source: KCRA, “Manteca teen says she reached for phone before deadly crash,” Mallory Hoff, April 22, 2014