A distracted driver using social media killed an elderly man changing a tire on the side of the road in Washington, authorities said.
On May 10 at about 8:40 a.m., Karley Leann Cecil, 29, was driving northbound on I-5 in Tacoma and fatally struck Kyang Park, 78.
According to charging documents obtained by South Sound News, a Washington State Patrol detective noted that Park was pulled over in the righthand shoulder of the interstate and fixing a flat tire on the driver’s side of his vehicle.
Cecil, the detective wrote, was “checking her Facebook page using her cell phone” while driving and allegedly “admitted to not looking at the roadway when she struck Mr. Park as she passed by.”
The defendant pulled over and called 911. Park was fatally injured in the impact and died on the scene. Park’s spouse was seated in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Cecil, who has no criminal record, was charged with vehicular homicide. She was released on bail pending an upcoming trial.
“We’re all guilty of it, looking down at our cell phones and things that’re relatively unimportant in the grand picture,” said Cecil’s defense attorney, Bryan Hershman, according to Seattle’s KING-TV. “It’s a staunch reminder of what not to do.”
The suspect’s loved ones admitted to struggling with the news of what happened.
“I’m so sorry for his family. I pray for his family every night. I hope they forgive my family,” Cecil’s boyfriend, Cory Watson, told KIRO-TV.
Dominic Wilson told the station her sister is “dying inside right now” and “feels so bad.”