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A 56-year-old man admitted that he was texting while driving prior to a motor vehicle accident that killed a 16-year-old boy in 2010.  Daniel R. Jacobs pled guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide in Franklin County, Ohio Common Pleas Court on June 11, 2012.  Jacobs is the first person to be indicted in Franklin County, Ohio on an aggravated vehicular homicide while texting charge–a third degree felony.

On July 1, 2010, Jacobs was driving on Interstate 270 near U.S. 33 and was texting behind the wheel.  Jacobs changed lanes without safety, lost control of his vehicle, and ran off the roadway, striking a stopped vehicle occupied by a driving instructor and his student.  Teenager Dalton Ludwig sustained fatal injuries while the driving instructor was hospitalized with serious injuries. Dalton had just finished his sophomore year at Pickerington Central High School when he was killed.

On August 9, 2012, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Kimberly Cocroft sentenced Jacobs to 3.5 years in prison after stating that Jacobs didn’t understand “the depth and gravity of what (he’d) done.”  Jacobs will be eligible for judicial release after serving 6 months of his sentence.  When he is released from prison, Judge Cocroft will require him to speak to high school students and others about the dangers of distracted driving.

Jacobs apologized in court to the Ludwig family saying “Texting is wrong. I should have known that a long, long time ago…I feel the weight of Dalton’s death every day.”

For more information about the dangers of distracted driving, contact the Ohio motor vehicle accident attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List.

Source: Columbus Dispatch, “Distracted driver sent to prison for killing teen,” John Futty, Aug. 10, 2012.