Driver Checking Facebook Hits & Kills 89-Year-Old Great Grandmother

Abby Sletten

We hear about the danger of texting and driving all the time, but unfortunately, using our phones in the car can put us in jeopardy in other ways too. A 20-year-old woman from North Dakota has been charged with negligent homicide after killing an 89-year-old woman while looking at Facebook on her smartphone and driving her car at 85 miles per hour.

Twenty-year-old Abby Sletten rear-ended the car carrying 89-year-old Phyllis Gordon, who was riding in the passenger seat as her granddaughter drove.


Making the situation even more tragic, Gordon was a grandmother of 8 grandchildren and a great grandmother of 17 great grandchildren.

Because the criminal complaint states that evidence shows Sletten did not attempt to brake, it suggests she was distracted or did not see the car in front of her.

A search of her phone concluded that she had been viewing Facebook photos at the time of the crash. She had also sent and received several text messages.

Ugh. No matter how many horrific stories we hear about accidents that happen while drivers are looking at their phones, it still doesn't seem to be enough to deter some people from giving into temptation.

Yes, most of us are accustomed to checking our phones several times a day, but all it takes is one split second of not paying attention to the road to cause an unthinkable tragedy, which could have easily been avoided. As heartbreaking as this accident is, we should let it serve as another reminder to all of us to keep our hands off our phones while behind the wheel and to pull over and make sure the car is at a complete stop before using them if we cannot wait until we arrive at our destination.

No text or Facebook post is more important than our own safety and that of everyone else on the road.

Do you think this woman should be convicted of negligent homicide?

Image via KARE

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