Police: Driver who hit Colchester pedestrian was texting
Colchester, Vermont - August 11, 2011
Police say a teen driver who struck a pedestrian Sunday in Colchester was texting on her cell phone at the time.
Deborah Drewniak, 52, was walking her dog on River Road at around 9:30 p.m. when she was hit by a car. Drewniak is in critical condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care.
The car was driven by 18-year-old Emma Vieira of Colchester. Thursday, police cited her into court on a charge of gross negligent operation with serious injury resulting. Police say cell phone company records indicated Vieira was texting at the time of the accident.
"Not just to teenagers but everyone who has a cellphone-- when you are driving please put them away. To the young people-- don't even tempt yourself to think that you can work a cellphone at the same time as driving," said Det. Sgt. Charles Cole of the Colchester Police Dept.
Since Vermont's ban on texting and driving went into effect last year, dozens of people have been ticketed for violating the law. State highway safety officials were still checking stats late Thursday, but say this may be the first case that has also involved a criminal charge of gross negligent driving.
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