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A driver who was distracted by a text message has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for causing the motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death of a 10 year Jackson County, Ohio girl in December 2010. The driver, Christopher Haines, plead guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide and three counts of aggravated vehicle assault on July 31, 2012.  Haines admitted that he was checking a text message that he received while driving when he rear-ended a car in which Angel McGinnis was a passenger, pushing the McGinnis vehicle into oncoming traffic where it was hit by another vehicle head on.

Haines addressed the court saying, “There’s not a day or an hour that goes by that I don’t think about all the people effected (sic) on every side of this. If somehow I could changes places I would, I’m just sorry.”

Following the sentencing hearing, Marsha McGinnis, mother of Angel McGinnis, spoke. “He shattered everything that ever meant something to me,” she said.  “My kids have been all I lived for and since that day my life has been upside down and I’ll never be the same because of him, because of his careless actions.”

Jackson County prosecutor Paul Scarcella believed it was important that this motor vehicle accident case be prosecuted aggressively.

“Texting and driving has become a bigger problem on our freeways so we wanted to make sure that people understand that they can’t be texting and driving and that what is just an instance to them could turn out in a situation like this where you take your eyes off the road for a second and because of that a 10-year old girl is gone,” Scarcella said.

For more information, contact the motor vehicle accident attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List.

Source: WSAZ News, “Man Learns Sentence in Death of 10-year old girl,” November 28, 2012.