Cell phone usage may have caused accident that killed Seattle music director

The Wenatchee World reports that Gunnar Karl Doggett, 16, of Twisp, is charged with Vehicular Homicide in the Winthrop-area car accident that killed Seattle music director George Shangrow.

Shangrow was killed on July 31 as he drove to the Methow Valley Music Festival where he was to lecture. Shangrow was headed east when Doggett crossed the centerline and hit his vehicle head-on. Shangrow apparently had tried to avoid the accident by breaking and moving right. Doggett, however, did not appear to brake.

Police believe that Doggett was distracted at the time of the accident because he was on his cell phone. Police found Doggett’s cell phone open and believe it was in use when the car accident occurred.

Vehicular Homicide, RCW 46.61.520, can be charged if a person is killed in a motor vehicle accident and the driver was driving without regard for the safety of others.

Washington state vehicle code RCW 46.61.667 prohibits using a cellphone while driving. The law was enacted in June 2010. Teenagers are strictly prohibited from using cellphones while driving even if they are hands-free.

Distracted driving is a serious problem on our roadways. Distracted driving can include using a cell phone, reading a map, changing a radio station, eating or any other activity where one takes their eyes and focus off of the road even for a split second.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed with their wrongful death lawsuits.

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Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.