Skip to comments.Conn. Teen Facing Homicide Charges After Accident That Killed Jogger [16-yo girl on cellphone]
Posted on 05/15/2012 3:11:26 AM PDT by ETL
NEW CANAAN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) A high school junior is facing homicide charges after being accused of running down a  jogger in Fairfield County.
Police said the accident was as simple as it was deadly. The cell phone was out in the drivers hand and the car veered for just a moment over the white line at the edge of the road before a sickening impact that left 44-year-old Kenneth Dorsey dead.
Now, the 16-year-old driver who hit him has been charged with negligent homicide. The juvenile was called in by Norwalk Police for an emotional reckoning. ..."
Authorities know when the accident happened from the 911 calls that came in and the cell phone contained the rest of the information they needed, including where the driver was, what she was doing and when she did it.
The very thing police said distracted her, sealed her fate, Young reported.
We do a forensic analysis of the phone after we get a search warrant for it, Chief Rilling said.
The victims companion said the arrest will help only if it spreads the word about the dangers of distracted driving. She said she thinks about the young driver a lot.
I cant even imagine what shes feeling and what her family is feeling. I sympathize with that, but at the same time, shes still here and can still do good from this and Ken is not, Dawn Jeffrey said.
(Excerpt) Read more at newyork.cbslocal.com ...
Anybody jogging that close to traffic with their back to traffic is partly responsible for something like that. The idea of a homicide charge in a case like that is ludicrous.
The word "homicide" just means somebody died. The charge, "negligent homicide" is like manslaughter. FWIW, Florida law has a statutory entry of "excusable homicide," defining a homicide that is not a crime.
“The cell phone was out in the drivers hand”
What does that mean, does it mean just holding the phone, or talking on the phone, or dialing the phone, holding the phone out the window, What?
I don't necessarily disagree with you, but what charge do you think would not be ludicrous?
Yes, that was perhaps dumb of him, but she was on a cellphone. Her car drifted across the line and struck him. How is it not negligent homicide?
I agree the jogger is partly responsible, but driving on a cellphone can be as bad as driving drunk. Until they get serious about dealing with this (as they did with DWI), these “accidents” will increase.
I see the answer came in before my question.
Pedestrians should ALWAYS travel FACING traffic. Whether I am walking or riding a motorcycle, I always assume everyone behind the wheel is trying to kill me.
"Authorities know when the accident happened from the 911 calls that came in and the cell phone contained the rest of the information they needed, including where the driver was, what she was doing and when she did it."
This is yet another case of a rogue DA trying to take the second step of a political career.
At least for bicyclists here in NY, the law states that you must travel in the same direction as traffic. I don't know if it also applies to those who jog on the street, a dumb-ass thing to do anyway, IMO.
I don’t get from the article that the man’s back was to traffic; a jogger facing traffic could get just as killed if a car up to speed just veers in front of him within 5 to 10 feet. Such a jogger might not be able to jump away in time.
If you can't stay within the lines, you might be going too fast, or are not a very good driver. If you drift across the line while talking on a cellphone and hit someone and kill them, it's negligent homicide.
Why doesn’t she just claim to be an illegal alien? That would be an instant dismissal.
Or a democrat politician.
According to other articles, she’s being charged as a juvenile. The max penalty is $1,000 and/or six months in jail. Since this is the first person she’s killed, she’ll probably get a fine along with a stern warning if she kills two more people, she’s in big trouble.
We had a situation similar to this in my neighborhood. A teen age girl pedestrian was killed by a moron who was intent on trying to plug his phone into a charger. He kept going and later said he thought he hit a mailbox. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and was sentenced to 1 to 2 years in prison. I'd say he got off easy.
I also assume that anyone trying to drive and talk on a cell phone is an idiot and trying to kill me. I realize I may have the right of way, but I also realize that an SUV weighs a lot more than I do, that truly bad drivers are far from unusual, and that the cops make a habit of ticketing fast drivers, not bad drivers. But I digress. From the photographs of the accident scene, I'm not sure what the guy was supposed to do, even if he was jogging against traffic and saw that the girl in the SUV on the cell phone was aiming directly for him. It doesn't look like there were any sidewalks and the line suggests that part of the roadway was divided for bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
I agree she was probably texting and I can't count the number of times when I have practically had to climb the walls of buildings to get out of the way of negligent texters.
Talking on a cellphone is bad enough, but at least then the person can keep an eye on what they are doing. When they text, they have a minimum of one hand AND both eyes busy.
I have no sympathy for this dumb kid. She killed a man because she was not paying attention.
> Anybody jogging that close to traffic with their back to traffic is partly responsible for something like that. The idea of a homicide charge in a case like that is ludicrous.
This is the NANNIE STATE.
It is our job to ruin the lives of the young. /s
I didn’t see where it said he had his back to traffic. I certainly would not jog on a busy thoroughfare, I’d find a back road or go to a park. In Massachusetts cell phone use by teen drivers is illegal, and with good reason. Teens lack experience and judgment, in case you didn’t already know that.
Yesterday, my car was twice nearly hit by people making turns while speaking on their phones. These were not teenagers. If I had been hit it would clearly have been negligent driving and, therefore, in this case negligent homocide seems the appropriate charge. I have little sympathy for the young lady. I am all for making this as big a case as possible hopefully to educate other idiots out there that there are major consequences for stupid actions.
According to other articles, she was texting. She also only had her driver’s license for three months. I say she should get the whole six months. I mean, a man is dead. I think it’ll depend on a few things, though. How long was she texting? If she was doing it off and on for the last twenty minutes, throw the book at her. The article says she was very remorseful. Well, I’d be interested in what she told the cops. Did she admit to texting? If so, that does demonstrate a certain amount of character, so maybe I’d go a little less harsh on her.
I run all the time through my neigborhood. Always on a sidewalk, and if there isn’t a sidewalk, I’m always facing traffic. I never wear headphones either. That is also stupid. If I did, I would not have both ears plugged at all.
Actions have consequences. Prayers for all involved.
There's nothing in the article that indicates he was jogging with his back to the traffic.......you're just making a blind guess in an effort to help blame the victim.
I don’t know about other states but in Connecticut roadways other than interstates are considered pedestrian ways meaning pedestrians have a right to use them and drivers are expected to control their vehicles.
Not saying it’s wise to run in traffic but the law is on the pedestrians side especially if, as it is indicated in the story, the jogger was on his side if the white line.
Maybe you're not a very good driver?
A 16-year-old New Canaan girl was charged this weekend with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle in the death of Norwalk man, who was fatally struck in late March while jogging on New Canaan Avenue.
Police Chief Harry Rilling said a forensic analysis of the girl’s cell phone records determined she was texting while driving when she fatally struck 44-year-old Kenneth Dorsey on the morning of March 26.
Police say the teenage driver received her license three and a half months before the accident occurred. She was traveling south on New Canaan Avenue in her red sport utility vehicle at about 9:30 a.m. when she veered over the white fog line and struck Dorsey from behind.
The fog line varies between three and four feet in width and is often used as a breakdown lane for motorists. There are no sidewalks on New Canaan Avenue.
Stay off the sidewalks when jogging. Your knees & back will thank you in 10 years.
“That is a very busy road,” Rilling said. “It is also a road where people tend to go quite a bit faster than they should ... That is not a road meant for jogging.”
Avid runners have argued in letters to The Hour that Dorsey should have been running against the flow of traffic, this way he could have seen the SUV coming and avoided being hit.
Trusting your life to the concept that drivers will stay on the road is a bit nuts, but losing control of a perfectly good car and killing someone due to negligence of the responsibility of piloting said car is in fact a crime. Most folks who lose control and hit the shoulder are most fortunate that they don't impact someone or something. Many of us will slow down and even stop to prevent getting too close to a pedestrian or biker because we value the other person's life even if they don't value their own life. Perhaps it's just old age talking, but life is precious and I try to ensure I don't endanger or take it due to "minor distractions".
A YEAR in jail. A man is DEAD. He had children and a life and career, all destroyed by this selfish twit. Did you see the photo above? The broken headlight cover and damaged car metal? This was a horrific collision. She was speeding AND texting. Also she only had her license for 3 months. The penalties should be greater in the first 6-12 months to scare these stupid kids. I see these idiots texting all the time and have been in several near-accidents wit them. ENOUGH.
I have no sympathy for drivers talking on cell phones or texting. I see them everywhere. Has daily life become so ultra important that they can't wait till they aren't driving to talk on the phone? It's a childish, immature fad.
I probably wouldn't have been killed or hurt had these 2 drivers hit me but I sure would have been inconvenienced with a car in the shop and trying to find a way to get back and forth to work.
I’ve heard that. And try to when at all possible. I’m not a heavy jogger though. But thanks for the advice.
I've survived D.C. area roads and highways for over 50 years without harm or damage, and am almost certainly a better driver than you or anybody you know.
As to building a jail big enough for everybody who ever goes over a white line... You'd have to make it big enough for every truck driver in the world, big enough for the entire populations of all European countries south of Germany, all 20,000,000 illegal immigrants, and pretty much everybody who drives on the D.C. beltway between Springfield and Tysons on any sort of regular basis.
This jogger in all likelihood was running with his back to traffic one or two feet from the edge of the road and the DA is looking to be the next Mike Nifong or Martha Coakley as I mentioned.
She was performing some action with it. You make a call,get a call,its all in there. Simply holding it in her hand would not show up.
The word “homicide” just means somebody died.
Slight correction (yes, I tend to be pedantic). “Homicide” doesn’t mean somebody died; it means somebody killed somebody.
"Stay off the sidewalks when jogging. Your knees & back will thank you in 10 years."
I'm a former jogger and regular walker, and my daughter is a jogger and topics of discussion this weekend included "Why do people jog in the street when there are perfectly good sidewalks?" MY answer was that the neighborhood's sidewalks are in such poor shape that you could die just by tripping on the uneven pavement! This is a residential neighborhood, not a main thoroughfare where the jogger was killed. Daughter, BTW, says she always jogs on the sidewalk facing traffic in her neighborhood. She has had knee problems. I prefer the boardwalk, so I drive out to the beach -- it's "springy" compared to concrete or asphalt which I think is helpful with my knees.
I saw that there is a park within a couple of miles of downtown New Canaan, that might be a better place to jog even if it takes a few extra minutes to drive there. I see a lot of bicyclists as well as walkers on main roads around here. Yes, they have the right, but I'm not that brave.
Just out of curiousity, how many “free” negligent homicides do I get? Is the number a function of whether the victim could see me coming?
I agree. My first question was which way was the runner facing.
I think most states have laws on the books directing pedestrians to walk/run against the traffic. My parents made me do so when I was a child.
I now see too many people walking/running with the flow of traffic and too many people riding their bikes against the traffic. That is the opposite of what is safe and also probably the law.
I have been riding motorcycles for most of my life and share a healthy respect for cagers and treat each one as if they cannot see me or as if they would not mind running over me.
I could not agree more. Put down the phone and drive. If 28 year old my daughter calls me or my wife we ask her if she’s driving, and if she says yes, we tell to pull over and call back. She has stopped calling us while driving.
The cell phone should not be a factor until it becomes unlawful to use a cell phone while driving...
If the man was running with the traffic, he was on the wrong side of the road...Had he been of the right side of the road, she wouldn't have hit him...Plus, he may have been able to avoid a vehicle going over the line had he seen it coming...
It likely was not a sharp turn over the line but a gradual drift...
A section of my regular jogging route is on a fairly busy road with ten foot wide shoulders.
I jog facing the traffic.
I do, occasionally, have to move way left when someone drifts onto the shoulder.
Inevitably, they are yacking on their cellphone at the time. (Predominately, they are female.)
Sometimes, you see the sudden realization on their face that they are about to run over a jogger. Other times, they remain oblivious as you veer out of the way.
If she lived in Massachusetts, she’d become Senator for Life.
Heck, in NYC, I saw 4 lanes painted on the road - but FIVE lane of traffic!
I could never drive in that nuthouse.
Most older people do that, since we were taught to walk on the left. Lately we have seen a lot of younger kids walking in the same direction traffic is moving.
I’d say the stupid b!tch ruined her life just fine without any help from Nanny State.
We need to bring back corporal punishment for situations like this. At a minimum she needs a dozen lashes. Some permanent scars on her back would be a good reminder about focusing her attention on driving.
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