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Text Messaging and Driving Recklessly Deadly Combination
A jury has convicted Jeffrey Woods of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated PC 191.5 (a) for the incident occurring in August of 2007. The truck Woods was driving crashed into the side walk and hit a 14-year old on his bike. Woods was on Vicodin and Xanax while also text messaging and driving recklessly, a deadly combination. The defense argued that Woods has epilepsy and that it was a seizure that made him lose control of the vehicle. The argument then becomes whether it was the drugs and multitasking during driving that caused the accident or if it was a seizure. According to the Criminal Jury instructions the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty. Meanwhile, the defense presents an alternative reasonable conclusion that points to the innocence of the defendant. The O.C. Register article on the case quoted a juror who explained that “there were some inconsistencies with the amount of seizures and whether they did happen or didn’t happen”. The evidence presented by the defense was not enough to sway the jury to another reasonable explanation for what happened.
Mr. Woods faces up to 10 years in prison for this offense.