18 year old Aaron Deveau was found guilty of vehicular homicide by texting – the first driver in Massachusetts to be found guilty of a texting while driving homicide. Deveau was texting on his phone on February 20, 2011, when his car swerved across the center line of the street and into the oncoming truck of Daniel Bowley, who suffered massive head trauma and died 18 days later in a Boston hospital.
Before Judge Stephen Abany imposed the maximum sentence on Deveau, the Judge said he was sending a message to Massachusetts drivers: People need to “keep their eyes on the road, keep their eyes on the road.’’
David Teater, Director of Transportation at the National Safety Council (NSC), agreed with the Judge’s ruling and said he believes it’s important to take a hardline approach on cases of texting while driving.
Deveau, who was 17 when the crash happened, said sent his final text message while parked in a grocery store parking lot where he worked. He went on to say during his testimony, that he left his cellphone in the passenger’s seat until calling his parents after the crash occurred.
However, phone records recovered by police indicate that he actually sent a text message at 2:34 p.m. and received a response at 2:35 p.m. Police said the crash happened at 2:35 p.m.
Texting while driving is a crime in Washington, D.C., and 38 other states, including Massachusetts.