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Texting Driver Faces Charges in Fatal Car Accident

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An 18-year-old woman is facing misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges in connection with a San Francisco area car accident, which killed 2-year-old Calli Murray and seriously injured the child’s mother, 42-year-old Ling Murray. According to a CBS News report, Kaitlyn Dunaway, 18, has also been charged with texting while driving, driving at an unsafe speed and failing to yield right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Ling Murray and 2-year-old Calli were in a marked crosswalk at Snyder Lane in Rohnert Park on December 1, 2010 when Dunaway hit them.

My heart goes out to the Murray family for what they have been going through for the last several months. This fatal pedestrian accident could have been prevented had the driver kept her hands on the wheel and her attention on the road. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Distracted Driving Statistics

According to California Highway Patrol’s statistics, the number of citations issued for hand-held cell phones has increased in California – from 7,779 in July 2008 to 12,761 in July 2009. Since the hand-held law became effective, CHP officials have issued a total of 173,616 citations for violations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), all forms of distracted driving caused 515,000 injuries and 5,870 fatalities in 2008, nationally.

The Law Relating to Texting while Driving

California law prohibits drivers from texting or using a handheld cell phone while driving. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23123 (a): “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving.”

Liability Issues

In such cases, negligent drivers can not only face criminal charges, but can also be held civilly liable for the wrongful death and personal injuries caused. The family of a deceased accident victim can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for medical and funeral expenses, loss of companionship and other related damages. Injured victims can claim compensation for all medical expenses, loss of earnings and other damages. An experienced San Francisco personal injury lawyer will advise injured victims and their families about their legal rights and options.

Lost a family member in a San Francisco car accident? Want to know your rights? Want to know what your case is worth? Want compensation? Want justice? Want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another family?

Call your best friends in the legal industry after a fatal Rohnert Park pedestrian accident. Call 800-481-8656. The call is free. The advice may be priceless.

Call a Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys San Francisco wrongful death lawyer for a free professional evaluation of your rights by attorneys who have been representing families of deceased accident victims since 1978. You will experience award winning representation and outstanding personal service by a compassionate and understanding law firm in a comfortable environment.

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