Teen Found Guilty of Vehicular Homicide
The teen faces anywhere from three to nine months in jail when sentenced for the September 2010 crash that killed Anna Marie Brulotte.
The toddler was hit while crossing the street with her mother and her two siblings, a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old, on Cornwall Avenue near Assumption Catholic School. A car had stopped to let them cross, but that car was rear-ended by the teen's car, detectives said.
The impact of the crash caused the stopped car to accelerate forward and strike the toddler and her mother, who was holding her hand. The toddler sustained a crushing skull injury and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The mother hit her head on the windshield of the hit car, and was thrown to the pavement. The woman was taken to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The two other children were not hurt.
Detectives said the teen driver, who was with two friends at the time, was distracted as she'd just asked her passenger to find something in her backpack.
The driver was "looking at the backpack (on the front passenger seat along with her friend) and was indicating where the item was in the backpack" when she crashed, according to the statement of probable cause.
Investigators determined the teen driver was traveling at a speed of 32 mph when she crashed.
She "took no evasive action, including braking, or moving to the left to avoid the (hit) vehicle," detectives wrote.
The girl's sentencing is set for July 6.
As Seattle pedestrian and auto accident attorneys, we are saddened that this tragic accident occurred. Driver distraction presents a serious and potentially deadly danger. In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. Distracted driving comes in various forms, such as cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, as well as using in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices. We urge all of our readers to be consonant of the distractions they face while driving and modify their behavior accordingly. Safety first!