“I didn’t see her in the crosswalk” – these were the words of the now convicted Martin Burt Kuehl of Costa Mesa in a court hearing in April 2009. Kuehl is recently found guilty of killing a pedestrian in a 2008 accident in Newport Beach.
An Orange County jury found Kuehl guilty of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for killing the 32-year-old Martha Ovalle on Aug. 29, 2008 while she was crossing on a marked crosswalk along Westcliff Drive.
Kuehl reportedly had an obstructed view of the marked crosswalk and so he wasn’t able to slow down or notice Ovalle who was on her way to work as a nanny. Her body was thrown some 72 feet upon impact before landing on a gutter. Ovalle died at the scene from blunt force trauma to the head and torso.
Kuehl will face on March the sentencing that will compel him to serve a maximum sentence of nine years in prison.
Though Kuehl claims that he had an obstructed view of the marked crosswalk, he was found guilty as his negligence of texting while driving hindered him from focusing on the road which could have prevented the accident.
People should be more attentive when driving and never let cellular phones or any handheld device distract them as they will be held liable for their violations and accidents that will result from it.