DISTRACTED DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING PEDESTRIAN IN CROSSWALK CRASH WHILE ILLEGALLY SENDING TEXT MESSAGES

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release

Case # 09HF0538

 

 

April 14, 2009

Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

DISTRACTED DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING PEDESTRIAN IN CROSSWALK CRASH WHILE ILLEGALLY SENDING TEXT MESSAGES

 

NEWPORT BEACH – A distracted driver will be arraigned tomorrow for killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk after failing to slow or stop while illegally text messaging. Martin Burt Kuehl, 41, Costa Mesa, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence and faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison if convicted. Kuehl is being held on $100,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

 

On Aug. 29, 2008, Kuehl is accused of illegally text messaging while driving westbound on Westcliff Drive in Newport Beach in a sport utility vehicle. At approximately 8:30 a.m., the defendant is accused of being distracted and failing to slow or stop as he approached a crosswalk, where 32-year-old Martha Ovalle was crossing the street. Kuehl is accused of hitting and killing the victim. Ovalle was pronounced dead at the scene due to blunt force injuries.

 

Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

 

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