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Cell Phone Use Suspected in Fatal Brookfield Crash
An early January crash in Brookfield that claimed the life of a Brown Deer woman has taken a new twist: Brookfield police have been granted a search warrant to access and review all records on the iPhone of the driver who caused the crash. An early report after the crash indicated that the driver had admitted to texting while driving earlier but said he was not doing so at the time of the crash.
Weather and Alcohol Not Factors
The crash occurred on the evening of January 3 at the western edge of Brookfield. The victim was waiting to turn from Springdale Road onto West Capitol Drive when a vehicle heading east on West Capitol veered out of its lane and struck her car. The victim was airlifted to Froedtert Hospital but died of her injuries.
Brookfield police are reported to have stated that weather and road conditions were not factors in the crash. It was also reported that neither drugs nor alcohol were believed to be involved. The driver of the car that caused the collision, a sixteen-year-old from Oconomowoc, and his family were said to be cooperating with investigators.
Distracted Driving Under Investigation
Afterward, the 16-year-old, who was not injured, told police that he had dozed off behind the wheel and awoke too late to avoid the collision. The warrant granting access to his iPhone reportedly uses strong language, suggesting “that the phone may constitute evidence of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.” That’s a serious criminal charge in Wisconsin and carries a maximum penalty of a $25,000 fine and ten years in prison.
This case has caught our attention not only because of the tragic death of the victim, but also because it seems to involve two major crash risk factors. If the driver had actually fallen asleep at the wheel, he would be one of millions who let this happen every year.
A report released just this past December by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that as many as 21 percent of all fatal crashes might be caused by sleep-deprived drivers. According to that report, drivers who had skipped only a few hours of sleep the night before had a sharply increased risk of being in a crash the next day, with the risk increasing significantly with each additional missed hour of sleep.
Distracted driving, which covers many unsafe behaviors and includes texting while driving, has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to account for nearly one in five motor vehicle crashes resulting in an injury. Its data blame more than 1,100 injuries and about eight fatalities every single day on some type of distracted driving.
We can’t be certain that either sleep or distraction caused this crash, but we’ll be following the investigation as it proceeds.
Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone close to you has been harmed in a car crash, it’s important to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Turn to Gary Greenberg, an experienced Milwaukee auto accident lawyer, to press your personal injury claim with the diligence and commitment it deserves.
Whether the crash was caused by a drowsy driver, a distracted driver, a reckless or negligent act, or any other preventable factor, we understand how to approach each case. Give us a call at 414-271-7007 or contact us online through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation to discuss your unique circumstances.