The verdict came in a couple of days ago, so you dudes probably have heard about this, but I thought it was important enough to continue the discussion here.
A Massachusetts teen was convicted Wednesday of homicide as a result of texting while driving and will serve one year in prison.
In a landmark case for the state, Aaron Deveau, 18, was found guilty on charges of vehicular homicide, texting while driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle in a 2011 crash that fatally injured Donald Bowley, 55, of Danville, New Hampshire, and seriously injured a passenger in Bowley’s car.
“I made a mistake,” Deveau said Wednesday after his mother told the district court in Haverhill, Massachusetts he would not intentionally hurt anyone. “If I could take it back, I would take it back.”
Unfortunately, like most of life, there are no take backs. Deveau is going to have to live with the fact that he killed one man and severely injured another, just because he couldn’t wait a few minutes to send fewer than 140 characters of information to a friend. That won’t be easy. But at least he’s still around to feel the guilt.
Deveau received a sentence of two and a half years for the death of Bowley, and two years for texting and causing injury. He will serve one year of that sentence concurrently, while the balance of both charges will be suspended for five years. What that means is he’ll spend a year in jail and then be released. If he stays clean for five years, the rest of the jail time goes away. His driver license will be suspended for 15 years.
“There are no winners today,” Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement. “A beloved grandfather is dead. A once active woman can no longer work and is still racked with pain from her injuries and a young man is going to jail. When we get behind the wheel of a car, we are obligated to drive with care. … As we saw in this case, in a split second, many lives are forever changed.”
We all know that the teen dudes in our families driving around know it’s dangerous to text and drive. Just like they know it’s dangerous to drink and drive. Yet, many teens still do this. Heck, many adults do both things as well.
If nothing else, maybe this horrible tragedy can serve as an object lesson, a teachable moment, for our teen dudes, to show them what can happen when they’re too impatient to wait and read that text when they’re off the road. I know I’m going to be having some serious talks with Hyper Lad, Sarcasmo and Zippy the Monkey Boy.
They’re going to groan and moan about having to talk about this again, but better to repeat myself than ask why while standing over a coffin.
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