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Wisconsin woman found not guilty in distracted driving case




Photo | CBS 2

ELLSWORTH, Wis. (Salvi Law) – A Wisconsin woman was found not guilty Wednesday in a 2013 crash that killed her 11-year-old daughter and two young nieces.

According to a report from CBS Chicago, Kari Jo Milberg lost control of her car and crashed into a truck in 2013. The state charged her with negligent homicide, saying she was on a cell phone messaging back and forth with a friend on social media just before the crash. They argued texting while driving is a serious crime, especially when it is fatal and cases such as this one should be prosecuted.

The woman’s defense attorneys argued the roads were snowy at the time of the crash. And Wednesday, twelve jurors took less than two hours to find the woman not guilty. One juror told a news outlet, “hasn’t she suffered enough?”

No matter the outcome, this case raised the discussion of the very real dangers of distracted driving.

Checking social media networks, posting selfies, or texting while driving can have serious, and even fatal, consequences.  One recent study found using mobile phones to access social media sites when behind the wheel can be more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol.  In fact,  Adweek.com reports research by the Transport Research Laboratory and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) found that drivers’ reaction times slowed by 38 percent when using their mobile phones to access sites such as Twitter and Facebook while controlling a moving vehicle. In contrast, drunk drivers driving just above the legal limit have a typical delayed reaction of just 12 percent.

A 2015 survey among drivers found several potentially dangerous behaviors behind the wheel and a wide range of activities. From putting in contact lenses to playing guitar, some drivers choose to do many risky things that take their hands and minds off the road.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash involving a distracted driver, you may have a case. We represent many clients who have been involved car crashes and often we find that someone involved was distracted. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our attorneys have years of experience representing injured drivers and passengers. For more information, contact the dedicated Illinois lawyers at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. for an immediate, free, confidential consultation.