Police: Speed, texting killed teen

June 16, 2009 7:43:40 PM PDT
Police say the driver of a car was speeding and texting just before a crash that killed a pregnant teenager and her unborn baby April 14 in Philadelphia's western suburbs. Driving and texting in Pennsylvania is legal, but can be deadly.

In Chester County, the District Attorney has now charged 18-year-old Megan Obendorfer of Downingtown with vehicular homicide. Two months ago, Obendorfer was driving down a winding road and slammed into a school bus.

It's alleged she was texting at the wheel, right to the moment of impact. "In the hour before she had the accident, she had 39 different uses of the text message or cell phone and that is not paying attention to the road,." 1st Assistant District Attorney Pat Carmody said.

The D.A.'s office says Obendorfer was speeding to deliver marijuana.

The accident killed her pregnant passenger Nicollette Pomon. Pomon was due to deliver her baby Lillian Grace the next day.

Baby and mother perished.

"A beautiful girl, vibrant sprit, just a good person," Kevin Pomon, the victim's brother, said.

For some, the dangers of a cell phone at the wheel are well known.

"I actually know someone who totaled their car doing that, so I don't really support that at all," Katlyn Newman of Ardmore said.

"I'm a big fan of if the cell phone rings in the car when I'm driving, the person in the passenger seat answers it, or if it's just me, than I just leave it," Julie Anderson of Doylestown said.

Still, many continue to do it. Prosecutors in Chester County think it's time Pennsylvania joins New Jersey in banning driving with handhelds except in emergencies.

"It makes perfect sense. It can save lives," Carmody said.

According to AAA, 13 states plus Washington, D.C., currently have texting bans. Pennsylvania is one of 14 other states with pending measures, but so far nothing has made it to a final vote in Harrisburg.

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