A North Dakota woman who police say was using Facebook on her cellphone when she crashed into another car is accused of negligent homicide in the death of a great-grandmother during the May accident.
Abby Sletten, 20, appeared in Traill County District Court on Wednesday to face a count of negligent homicide, court documents said.
Sletten is accused of driving 85 mph on a North Dakota highway May 27 while using her cellphone when her car rear-ended an SUV.
Jennifer Meyers was driving the SUV with her daughter and 89-year-old grandmother, according to an affidavit. A witness told police he saw Meyers’ brake lights and turn signal when Sletten’s Ford Escape plowed into the car on Interstate 29.
Sletten did not brake and nearly hit the witness’ vehicle after striking Meyers’ SUV, according to the affidavit.
Meyers’ grandmother, Phyllis Gordon, a Minnesota resident, was a passenger in the front seat and died on the scene, the affidavit said.
Meyers and her daughter Paige, who also live in Minnesota, were treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, the court documents said.
Investigators later obtained a warrant to search Sletten’s phone and determined she was looking at photos on her mobile Facebook app at the time of the crash, according to the affidavit. She had also sent text messages while driving. The lack of skid marks on the road suggested Sletten did not see Meyers’ car in front of her, the documents said.