DA: Driver who struck, killed 12-year-old girl was texting

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DA: Driver who struck, killed 12-year-old was texting. Walter Perez reports during Action News at 5:30pm on November 28, 2017. (WPVI)

The driver who hit and killed a 12-year-old girl in Palmer Township in September was texting, the Northampton County District Attorney said Tuesday.

Dylan Groff, 21, will be charged with homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter, and related offenses in the fatal crash.

Morganelli said investigators found Groff was actively using his cell phone and was distracted when his car veered off of Nazareth Road (Route 248) and hit Emma Raymondo.

"This accident was solely related to the fact that this young man was actively utilizing his cell phone for messaging, and allowed his car to veer off the side of the road and hit Emma," Morganelli said during a Tuesday morning press conference.

Raymondo's mother, Cayleen, said she was walking home from nearby Sheetz after getting ice cream with her siblings.

"The holiday season, it's really hard not having her here. It doesn't feel right. It's really hard," she said.

She says it feels like it happened yesterday.

"There are no words to express how you feel when you lose a child and then especially to find out it was over texting over a conversation that could wait."

Now, her mom says the only good can come from her daughter's death is the hope that this case sends a powerful message... about the danger of texting and driving.

"There is nothing in this world that you can send through a text message that is worth possibly taking another life. She had a bright future. And she doesn't get to have the future," Raymondo said. "She doesn't get to have high school or prom or anything."

Groff has no criminal history, authorities say. He is expected to surrender sometime this week.

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