Here’s an article on an accident caused by an alleged distracted teen driver in Norwalk. This is an important reminder for all to put down our cell phones, while driving.
New Canaan driver on web when she hit jogger, police
Updated 10:02 a.m., Wednesday, May 16, 2012
In this March 24, 2012, photo, Norwalk, Conn., police stand at the scene of an accident on New Canaan Avenue where Kenneth Dorsey, 43, of Norwalk was fatally struck by an SUV while he was jogging. A 16-year-old girl from New Canaan, Conn., who police say was driving the SUV, turned herself in May 12, 2012, after learning there was a warrant out for her arrest on charges of negligent homicide with a motor vehicle. Photo: Danielle Robinson, The Hour, Danielle Robinson Via AP / Associated Press
New Canaan police announced Tuesday night that they will hold a forum on distracted driving from 7-8:30 p.m. June 6 at New Canaan High School.
NORWALK — A 16-year-old girl was searching the New Canaan High School website on her iPhone when she drove a Toyota 4Runner onto a shoulder and fatally struck a Norwalk man, police say.
The driver, a New Canaan resident, was hysterical seconds after hitting Kenneth Dorsey, according to a witness cited in an arrest affidavit charging her with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and failure to drive in an established lane.
“I certainly don’t want her to forget what she did through stupidity,” Dorsey’s father, Leo, 67, said in a telephone interview from his Milford home Tuesday. “She was decimated after killing Ken and that is the way it should be. She killed my son and I’m having a hard time with the fact that his death was caused by stupidity.”
“That is the part that is killing me — it was stupid,” said Dorsey of the accident, which occurred around 9:30 a.m. March 24 on New Canaan Avenue in Norwalk. He explained that if a bee had distracted the driver, it would be easier to accept his son’s death.
The girl turned herself over to Norwalk police May 12 after learning there was a warrant for her arrest. She was released on a promise to appear in court. As a condition of release, she is prohibited from driving, her court record shows.
A woman who answered the phone at the girl’s home Tuesday afternoon declined comment and said a lawyer would not be available.
The driver had to have the phone in her hand to access the website at the time of the accident, according to the affidavit.
Kenneth Dorsey, 43, was a quality control manager with 25 years experience at a Shelton manufacturing plant. He had a culinary degree and worked as a chef for several caterers in Fairfield County. Several years ago, he turned down a chance to cook for then-President George W. Bush during a visit to the area because he could not take the time off required, Leo Dorsey said.
“It was a needless accident that could have been prevented through education,” he said.
A witness driving behind the 4Runner told police he saw the vehicle suddenly pull out of the shoulder and dust kicked up. The man, who said the 4Runner was traveling at about 30 to 40 mph, did not notice brake lights.
The witness told police he saw a white sneaker, then Dorsey lying on the shoulder and the 4Runner stopped ahead.
Dorsey was taken to Norwalk Hospital and pronounced dead nearly 3 1/2 hours after the accident, the affidavit said. Injuries included trauma to the head and fractures of the spine.
A man driving just ahead of the 4Runner told police Dorsey was jogging between the curb and the white line at the side of the street when he was struck, the affidavit said.
Police charge 16-year-old driver with negligent homicide in jogger’s death
By CHASE WRIGHT
Hour Staff Writer | Posted: Monday, May 14, 2012 11:01 pm
NORWALK — A 16-year-old New Canaan girl was charged this weekend with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle in the death of Norwalk man, who was fatally struck in late March while jogging on New Canaan Avenue.
The girl, whose identity was not released by police, was also charged with use of a handheld telephone under age 18 and failure to drive in the proper lane. She is due in juvenile court on May 24.
The investigation, which took six weeks to complete, wrapped up on Saturday when the girl turned herself in to the police after learning there was a warrant out for her arrest.
Police Chief Harry Rilling said a forensic analysis of the girl’s cell phone records determined she was texting while driving when she fatally struck 44-year-old Kenneth Dorsey on the morning of March 26.
Connecticut’s distracted driving laws, which are among the toughest in the nation, prohibit minors from using mobile phones or any mobile electronic devices, including the hands-free type, while driving. Texting while driving is not permitted for any Connecticut driver.
Police say the teenage driver received her license three and a half months before the accident occurred. She was traveling south on New Canaan Avenue in her red sport utility vehicle at about 9:30 a.m. when she veered over the white fog line and struck Dorsey from behind.
The fog line varies between three and four feet in width and is often used as a breakdown lane for motorists. There are no sidewalks on New Canaan Avenue.
Dorsey was badly injured but breathing on his own when police arrived on the scene. He was rushed to Norwalk Hospital, where he died several hours later.
Rilling called the accident “a tremendous tragedy” for everyone involved, and said the case underscores the need for drivers to avoid the use of cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.
“Distracted driving is very hazardous,” he said. “People who are driving need to be focused on the road and their surroundings.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen drivers are more likely than other age groups to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported. In 2009, 16 percent of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted.
Following Dorsey’s death, pedestrian advocates renewed their call for safer roads, while Norwalk Police stepped up enforcement of distracted driving laws. During the two-day initiative, which was held in mid-April, police issued 215 tickets, including 45 for cell phone use.
Rilling said after the accident that pedestrians would be wise to avoid walking on New Canaan Avenue, a major artery that connects Norwalk and New Canaan.
“That is a very busy road,” Rilling said. “It is also a road where people tend to go quite a bit faster than they should … That is not a road meant for jogging.”
Avid runners have argued in letters to The Hour that Dorsey should have been running against the flow of traffic, this way he could have seen the SUV coming and avoided being hit.
Police say Dorsey’s exact cause of death is still pending.