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Man will be tried on vehicular manslaughter for texting.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009

Costa Mesa California:  After killing a pedestrian while texting on his cellphone in the car, Martin Burt Kuehl, 42 was ordered to stand trial for vehicular manslaughter.  Martha Ovalle, died on Aug. 29, 2008 while crossing Westcliff Drive near Dover Drive in Newport Beach.

There is some dispute about the use of the cell phone to text during the accident. It was reported that he had been texting just prior to the accident. Of course texting involves a give-and-take between other recipients, and even though he may not have been at the moment texting, he certainly could have been involved in an ongoing discussion. The distraction, according to prosecutors, contributed to his failure to see the pedestrian justifying pursuit of it to their manslaughter charges.

In fact Deputy Dist. Atty. Jason Baez said phone records showed Kuehl text messaging for about 30 minutes before his car struck Ovalle and one witness said they had to honk to get the driver to notice the green light at a prior intersection. 

Cell phone use and texting while driving an automobile continue to cause serious or are reversible damage to pedestrians and other motorists. If you've been involved in a auto accident, or struck as a pedestrian because of a driver you suspect was a cell phone, please contact us immediately. We are actively pursuing punitive damage claims against these drivers. Call us at 1-866-981-5596.

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