An Ohio truck driver was sentenced on Wednesday for a fatal 2015 crash that reportedly occurred while he was distracted by a Facebook quiz on his phone.
Forty two year old truck driver Alpha Oumar Diallo was sentenced to 6 to 15 years in prison on a charge of reckless driving causing death in the Washtenaw County Trial Court in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Prosecutors Say Truck Driver Never Hit The Brakes Before Fatal Crash
The charges stem from a July 8, 2015 crash that occurred on southbound U.S. 23 near Milan, Michigan. While traffic was slowed in a construction zone, Diallo, driving an empty Kroeger truck, failed to stop and crashed into stopped vehicles.
The prosecution in the case said that Diallo never hit his brakes and that he had clicked on a Facebook quiz titled “What County Best Suits My Personality to Live In” seconds before the crash.
Edyth Ellsworth, 83, died in the crash. Two other people sustained severe injuries.
Diallo confessed to speeding and said that he was attempting to pass another semi truck at the time of the crash, which was why he says he didn’t notice the slowed traffic. He also told the court at the time of his conviction that he did not remember taking the Facebook quiz but that he did take one oxycodone pill around 9 p.m. the day before the crash. The pain killer was prescribed by a doctor for pain caused by sickle cell anemia.
The jury did not convict Diallo on charges of driving while intoxicated.
A Sad Reminder Of The Consequences Of Distracted Driving
At the sentencing, Diallo offered the families a tearful apology for the crash: “I have lost people dear to me. All I can tell you is, I’m sorry. If there was a way I could go back in time and change something, I would, but I can’t. I’m very sorry.”
Ellsworth’s son Russ Falkner condemned Diallo for distracted driving in a victim impact statement. He said, “How many times do you hear people say, ‘Don’t text and drive? Don’t text and drive?’. You weren’t just texting, you were taking surveys. ‘What County Best Suits My Personality to Live In.’ Really? That’s what my mother died for?”