Woman Accused of Using Facebook While Driving, Charged With Homicide

Photo of author

(Newswire.net — September 6, 2014)  — Abby Sletten, 20, was texting and had her eyes on Facebook photos instead of the road as she traveled at 85 miles per hour down Interstate 29 towards Grand Forks on May 27, police say.

Jennifer Meyers was driving the SUV with her daughter and 89-year-old grandmother, according to court documents. A witness told police he saw Meyers’ brake lights and turn signal when Sletten’s Ford Escape plowed into the car.

The driver, survived, as did her daughter, but Meyers’ grandmother, Phyllis Gordon, a Minnesota resident, was a passenger in the front seat and died on the scene, even though “several people were performing [CPR]” in an effort to revive her as she was on the ground next to the vehicle, the affidavit said.

Sletten told a patrol officer that she had no recollection of the crash.

“We do get behind vehicles and all of a sudden they’re weaving on the road,” Traill County Sheriff Mike Crocker told CNN affiliate KVLY/KXJB. “We do initiate a traffic stop and try to find out what’s going on. Texting and driving to me … is becoming a very serious problem.”

The North Dakota texting and driving law, enacted in 2011, prohibits drivers from reading, writing and sending electronic messages, including email, KVLY/KXJB reported. The law carries a $100 fine, but Crocker said a tougher law is needed.

“We got-a have a reason for them to not text and drive,” the sheriff told KVLY/KXJB.

According to a 2011 survey by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers between 18 and 20 have the “highest incidence of crash or near-crash experience,” and report the highest level of phone involvement at the time of a crash or near crash.

Two out of 10 drivers said they drove more slowly when talking on the phone, according to the NHTSA survey.

In a new survey by AT&T, almost half of adults admitted to texting while driving, compared to a slightly smaller number of teens who fessed up to the same thing. About 49% of adults say they’ve sent a text while behind the wheel, according to a new survey conducted for the mobile company, compared with 43% of teens in a survey from last April.

A full 98% of respondents said they’re aware that texting and driving isn’t safe…

…but still they do.