If this isn’t a cautionary tale about youth texting, drinking and driving, then I don’t know what is. And it was enough to infuriate a judge.
On Friday an 18-year-old youth from Montgomery Township, N.J., Samuel Oltmans, was sentenced to five years in prison for killing a 61-year-old Franklin Township woman, Laurie O’Neil, in a car accident three days before Christmas last year, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.
Oltmans had been at a party drinking, then left and began talking on his cellphone and texting while driving on Route 206 in Montgomery, The Ledger reported. He went over a double-line and struck O’Neil’s car head-on. She was dead at the scene.
At the sentencing, Superior Court Judge Robert Reed couldn’t contain his anger at Oltmans’ actions last Dec. 22.
In what The Ledger described as “a loud and emotional outburst from the bench,” Reed said, “Eleven of you will die in this country every day because of texting and driving. For God’s sake, stop it, lest you stand where Sam Oltmans stands today.”
The youth got the jail sentence under a plea bargain reached last month, where he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, The Ledger reported. Oltmans will be eligible for parole in about four years, the newspaper said.
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Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice