Chicago Woman Accused of Fatally Hitting Man After Driving While Updating Her Facebook Account

A wrongful death lawsuit in Chicago has alleged another case of distracted driving . . . this time involving a driver, Araceli Beas, who is accused of updating her Facebook account on her cellphone just before she hit and killed pedestrian Raymond Veloz.

Veloz, 70, has just had an accident and was speaking with the other driver when he was hit on the side of the road. The civil lawsuit alleges the use of an electronic device while driving — an act that would presumably allow the jury to make a finding of negligence per se if the electronic records are found dispositive.

Source: CBS

25 thoughts on “Chicago Woman Accused of Fatally Hitting Man After Driving While Updating Her Facebook Account”

  1. Rafflaw.

    Apparently talking on a cell phone even using a wireless head set is distracting, not as bad as taking eyes off the road while fumbling with a keypad, but distracting none the less.

    It is possible that the only reason talking with others in the car while driving has not been found to cause accidents is that no one has bothered to ask the appropriate questions when investigating accidents. My suspicion is that for new drivers any distraction is prone to cause accidents, as one becomes more experienced more of the driving process is subcontracted to parts of the brain that do not require conscious attention so that experienced drivers can talk and drive without significant increase in their proneness to accidents.

  2. I was lucky to learn the dangers of cellphone distracted driving early and cheaply. I had just bought a brand new tyre for my ancient Volvo the first time that I answered a newly acquired cellphone provided by my employer as as I was driving home. The result one brand new Michelin wrecked as I swerved left and hit the gutter.

    At least my learning experience was relatively cheap, no one hurt and no expensive car repairs.

  3. A.A. –

    “There are just some folks that should not be able to be alive much less drive.”

    As Jeff Foxworthy says, he wouldn’t mind them nearly so much, if they’d just wear their signs.

  4. @AY: In my experience, the proper phraseology in New York is “gimme a fuckin’ minute.” Which should be said without anger or malice, and should buy you three seconds. Four seconds if you add a tag, like, “buddy,” or “chief,” or Buddha’s favorite, “sport.”

  5. Hey wait a damn New York minute…. Some people want to blame it on the cell phones….. Maybe now and again….There are just some folks that should not be able to be alive much less drive….. Not that I don’t think that some people should not enjoy the same right as I do….But hell you see em….You know who they are…. They are just waiting to get you….and you know it….

  6. I am wondering if any of you have noticed that – when using a fast food drive-thorough, the person waiting on you is invariable on a headset, taking another order from the car behind you. They are discussing the other order while handing you your food and ringing up your change.

    Like it or not, we are breeding an entire generation that doesn’t even question the subject of multitasking around vehicles.

    It’s all they’ve ever done.

  7. As we’ve recently seen an episode of “When Fountains Attack”, some people can’t even walk and text at the same time.

  8. This is a prime example of trying to do too much at one time. I would like to see bluetooth connections for the cell phone use to be a mandatory standard feature in every car. Many people cannot even talk on the phone and drive at the same time, let alone send a text message.

  9. @Mike: Agreed; sometimes I think the university parking lot and surrounds are more dangerous than the damn highway. We have one light just 3 blocks from the entrnce that (for reasons I cannot discern) is particularly crash prone, about once a week. Last year, my colleague and I returning from lunch were at a full stop, fourth in line at that light, and got rear-ended by a guy (not a student) who was too busy talking on his cellphone to notice a line of cars in front of him stopped at a clearly visible RED LIGHT. He was traveling at about 30 mph and nobody got hurt, but still.

  10. AA,

    Not true they are location and date stamped… oh yeah….Tracking GPS is on you little one….Sleep well at night……

    Hey…Thank God she was not eating cereal….. Then Chicago would have another Serial Killer out there….

  11. The amount of cellphone distracted drivers that I encounter every day disturbs me. Using them while driving should be outlawed. As for Facebook, I joined originally to try to get Sam Seder a radio gig. While I’m still on it I rarely even look at the sight. I can’t think of any use it has to me.

  12. Tony C.
    1, February 18, 2011 at 11:00 am
    Ariceli’s Current Status: Being charged with negligent homicide or manslaughter; shopping for a lawyer, more later.


    lol … nicely done!

  13. Ariceli’s Current Status: Being charged with negligent homicide or manslaughter; shopping for a lawyer, more later.

  14. Cell phone use and especially texting in a moving vehicle should be outlawed period. new cars should come equipped with a signal suppressor that activates as soon as the car is put into any gear other than park or, in the case of standards, until the engine is turned off. Inattention causes more accidents than anything else, including alcohol and turns a car into nothing more than a lethal 1-1/2 ton moving mass of steel and glass.

  15. ““An overwhelming majority of respondents reported that the best thing about Facebook was ‘keeping in touch’, often without any further explanation,” said Dr Charles. “But many also told us they were anxious about withdrawing from the site for fear of missing important social information or offending contacts.”

    “for fear of missing important social information”

    Sounds like people who are addicted to playing the pick it.

  16. It seems that it will be difficult to prove that she was putting in data on her account at the same time that she hit Mr. Velos, who, by the way, is really accident prone. I hope that this case gets a lot of air because I see too many people driving and texting or something that takes their attention off of the road.

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