Gambrills, MD - Anne Arundel County police say a simple text message caused Elizabeth Meyers, 20, of Severn, to cross Rte. 3 in Gambrills and hit and kill Jonathan Roberts, 30, who was on a motorcycle. The crash happened March 10, 2013; however, Meyers was charged on Friday.
"This is a preventable crash. It didn't need to happen," said Chief Kevin Davis, Anne Arundel County police.
After nearly seven months, the State's Attorney gathered enough evidence to charge Meyers.
"There was an eyewitness who saw her with her hand on the wheel and the other hand with her phone raised up and texting," said Anne Colt Leitess, Anne Arundel Co. State’s Attorney. "And there's also evidence, phone records, that indicate she was texting at the time," she said.
The eyewitness account came from a man walking in the area. Police say Meyers was crossing from the SJ Chadwick building to Royal Farms when she hit Roberts.
It happened almost seven months ago when using a cell phone behind the wheel was a secondary offense in Maryland. Now a police officer can stop a driver for cell phone use alone.
"Even before the new law, what is that important that you cannot wait 10, 15 minutes or wait until you stop. Pull over," said Christina Jones, Upper Marlboro.
It is the first time Anne Arundel County will prosecute a case for manslaughter caused by a texting driver. The State's Attorney hopes it sends a message that it really can happen to anyone.
"She took a life while texting, and that's something she'll have to live with but there are consequences," said Marie Stanton, Crofton.
We tried knocking on Elizabeth Meyers' door, but the woman who answered said she hasn't lived at the Severn address for years. Meyers faces six charges, including text messaging while driving. According to online records, a trial is set for February of next year.
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