New Jersey couple suing woman for texting driver who crashed into them

New Jersey couple suing woman for texting driver who crashed into themAfter losing their legs in an unfortunate traffic accident, a New Jersey couple is seeking legal retribution against the motorist and the women he was texting before he crashed, reports the Huffington Post.

The accident occurred back in 2009 when Kyle Best, who was 19 years old at the time, replied to a text sent from Shannon Colonna. Best was behind the wheel of his truck when he drifted into oncoming traffic while texting — slamming into David and Linda Kubert’s motorcycle in the process. The couple suffered severe injuries and both lost their left legs as a result of Best’s negligence.

According to the report, Best has already pleaded guilty to three violations of New Jersey law, including using a mobile phone while driving, careless driving, and failure to maintain a lane. His punishment so far has included $775 in fines and to undergo community service by speaking at 14 high schools in regards to the dangers of texting and driving.

In addition to their claim against Best, the Kuberts have also sought legal retribution against Colonna who was texting Best moments prior to the accident.

But why charge Colonna when she wasn’t directly involved in the accident or even in the car? The couple’s attorney argue that Colonna was aware she was texting Best while he was driving, and that while she may not have been physically present, she was in fact “electronically” present and thus bears partial responsibility.

Of course Colonna’s lawyer argues to the contrary, that any charges against Colonna are not only ridiculous, but unfounded and that she cannot be held responsible for Best’s decisions while behind the wheel. Moreover, he has argued that Colonna was fundamentally unaware of Best’s decision to read the text while it was unsafe to do so.

The judge overseeing the case is expecting to make his final ruling on whether or not Colonna will be included in the suit on May 25.

Currently, texting while operating a motor vehicle is illegal in 38 states. This case however may spark a widespread legal precedent and determine the ramifications, if any, texting someone while they’re driving may carry. In addition, because of the Kuberts’ lawsuit, we could very well witness more robust legislation regarding distracted driving laws. As it stands now, there is no court ruling establishing any degree of fault for sending a text message where a recipient causes injury while reading said message, but that just might be changing soon.

What do you think? Did Colonna play a role in distracting Best and should she be held legally responsible? Why? Why not? Sound off in the comments section below:

[Image credit: Shutterstock/Marquis]

Cars

Six advanced tech features that make off-road driving easy

It wasn’t too long ago that driving off-road required serious skills and a lot of equipment. Thanks to technology, any family crossover SUV can hit the trail today and have a good chance of coming back in one piece.
Cars

Tesla’s recent Model S fires prompt the company to update its battery software

Following three Model S incidents where the cars caught fire while parked, Tesla has started pushing out an update for Model S and Model X batteries to improve their safety. The company is still investigating the cause of the fires.
Cars

The 2020 Hyundai Elantra keeps an eye on the road even if you’re not looking

Hyundai has again updated the Elantra, one of its most popular and most affordable models. For the 2020 model year, the Elantra receives standard driving aids like lane-keeping assist and forward collision warning.
Product Review

The 2019 Ford Mustang GT 350 finally has the grip to (almost) tame its V8

Four years after its debut, the standard GT350 finally gets the suspension and tire package it always needed. While evolutionary rather than revolutionary, Ford’s update takes the Shelby’s track prowess and fun factor to a new level.
Cars

Lamborghini’s ST-X will likely spawn a super-Urus with the soul of a race car

Lamborghini is taking the Urus racing in 2020. The racing version will be lighter than the production model it's based on, and we expect it will be a good deal quicker. It is also trickling into a performance version of the Urus.
Cars

Volvo’s new app walks you through what to do after an accident

Volvo's Accident Advisor sends information on what to do after an accident directly to a driver's smartphone. Drivers can also use it to notify their insurance companies and find a repair shop.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz fires its first salvo in the luxury electrification war

The EQC is Mercedes-Benz's answer to the Tesla threat, bringing performance, tech features, and luxury to the growing electric SUV segment. We headed to Norway, the electric car capital of the world, to get a taste of it.
Cars

Aston Martin will revive James Bond’s DB5 at a price only Goldfinger can afford

Aston Martin will build 25 new versions of the DB5 from the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger, complete with gadgets. These "continuation cars" will cost millions of dollars, but won't be road legal.
Cars

Hyundai wants to make sure you’re seeing the outside world, not inhaling it

Hyundai is developing an intelligent air purification system for its cars that continuously monitors the quality of the air inside the cabin, and cleans it when it detects the presence of harmful particulates.
Cars

Nissan claims its upgraded ProPilot system enables hands-off highway driving

Nissan is launching a new version of its ProPilot Assist system that's much smarter than the current version. It can handle acceleration, braking, and steering on highways, while using a camera to ensure the driver doesn't fall asleep.
Cars

2020 GMC Sierra sees a bunch of updates, including adaptive cruise

GMC announced updates to its 2020 GMC Sierra pickup truck, including much-needed adaptive cruise control, a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine option, improved towing cameras, and expanded availability of the 10-speed automatic transmission.
Home Theater

Why you can’t buy Car Thing, Spotify’s first hardware device

Spotify created a voice-activated, in-car device that lets you listen to music and podcasts. But Car Thing, as it is known, is not for sale. Instead, it will be used to gather data from a limited set of customers.
Cars

Car designers can predict your future desires. This is how they do it

Automakers employ small armies of designers, and they’re relentless about asking consumers what they want. So, how do you get from the voice of the customer to the designer’s pen, and why does it go wrong so often?
Cars

Ford gears up to build rugged, capable hybrid trucks and SUVs

Ford is planning to put hybrid powertrains into big trucks and SUVs, and doesn't want to sacrifice things like towing capacity and off-road capability. A new hybrid system may help do that.