Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Orange County crime story of the day

The Orange County Superior Court has decided that 41-year-old Martin Burt Kuehl, a resident of the central OC community of Costa Mesa, must stand trial for gross vehicular manslaughter involving a texting-while-driving incident.

Kuehl is charged with hitting 32-year-old Martha Ovella (below), a nanny in Newport Beach, as she was walking to work in late August 2008. The collision, which occurred in a crosswalk, killed her.

If Kuehl is convicted of this felony, he faces up to nine years in prison.

A commissioner for the court noted that while Kuehl was not sending or receiving text messages at the exact moment of the crash, "Kuehl had his cell phone in his hand during the incident, and had been texting back and forth with a friend for several miles prior to the crash."

The Orange County Register reports other such cases:
Kuehl is not the only individual facing criminal charges for a fatality allegedly caused by texting while driving. Jeffrey Woods, 21, of Huntington Beach is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 5 for hitting and killing 14-year-old Danny Oates as he rode his bicycle on Aug. 29, 2007. Prosecutors also accuse Woods of being intoxicated at the time of that crash.
I think I'll send this to my mom.


  1. What's the point of this?!?!?

  2. The point of this is: "Don't text while driving". Most of us do it (I'm guilty of it sometimes), but it's soooo dangerous. And we all think we are too good at driving+texting to get into trouble...but it only takes half a second to hit something. I'm sure somebody will invite texting by speech/dictation soon though. And yes, we prefer texting over talking many times because it gets to the point and there's no superficial smalltalk.

  3. Oh by the way, Kushibo, your mom texts?? Wow, now if I can only teach my mom how to even use her cel phone correctly or the computer.

  4. My mom and my aunt (they are like a set) are both technophilic — up to a point. They like new gadgets and the stuff you can do with them, but they take a little time to figure things out, and typically they need my help (or one of my cousins' help) to get that done. She does text, but not with thumbs and fingers flying like a teenager.

    My mother gets horribly distracted by her phone while driving, and it scares me. She leaves it in her pocket and then (this is before California required hands-free devices) she would dig it out with one hand, occasionally looking down to see what she was doing, while driving with the other.

    It scared the sh¡t out of me — I was sure that she was going to eventually have a crash because of this — so as soon as we got wind that the hands-free law was going to be passed, I forced her to get a bluetooth headset. She loves that (wears it all the time), and she's now much less distracted, since she is now more likely to call than text because of it.


Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.