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Fatal Muskegon distracted driving car accident

Graphic distracted driving death is tough to read but may serve to finally get people to put down the phone when behind the wheel

Corey McNett

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, today our personal injury lawyers want to talk about an article that recently appeared in MLive’s Muskegon News: Fatal distracted driving accident haunts Muskegon Township man, devastates victim’s family.

This article is tragic, detailed and graphic. I’m sharing this article because I believe the details and first-person account from the man who caused the distracted driving car crash and the victim’s best friend who witnessed the crash, may be enough to make people stop texting while driving once and for all.

The MLive reporter, Heather Lynn Peters, tells the story of Jeremy Griffin, 33, who was returning from his snowplowing route last February, when he looked away from the road for a quick second. According to the story, Griffin slammed his snowplow into a 19-year-old West Olive man Corey McNett, who happened to be standing on the side of the highway. The crash amputated McNett’s legs and killed him at the scene.

The article says Griffin was either taking his truck out of four-wheel drive, grabbing a cigarette or glancing at his phone — he doesn’t recall which. The article explains exactly what happens at the gruesome scene, but it also covers the range of emotions and remorse Griffin experiences, as well as McNett’s family and loved ones.

Griffin had his license revoked and the McNetts received a wrongful death settlement in a civil car accident lawsuit. According to the Muskegon News, Griffin was placed on probation for six months and ordered to perform 60 hours of community service and to pay $850 in fines, fees and costs.

This is a powerful article. It is difficult to read, but I hope you will read it. It’s yet another example that senseless, preventable deaths can and do occur from distracted driving and texting while driving. And they are happening all of the time in our own back yards.

In 2009, distracted driving claimed 5,474 lives and led to 448,000 injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And Michigan logged more than 34,000 crashes involving some form of distracted driving and 9,000 car accidents caused by cell phones in the past decade, according to the MLive story. Just two weeks ago, we lost a Grand Rapids, Michigan mother of four in a distracted driving car accident.

The MLive article ends with some words of advice from Griffin: “I’ve been in an accident that caused the death of someone’s son. It doesn’t take but a blink. It’s a split second that changes your life and others’ lives completely. No one is untouchable.”

Steven Gursten is a personal injury lawyer and head of Michigan Auto Law. He president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association. Steve frequently writes and speaks on distracted driving and Michigan auto laws, and is available for comment.

Related Information:

Distracted driving accident FAQs

Michigan texting while driving ban

Muskegon auto accident resource center

Michigan Auto Law exclusively handles car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state of Michigan. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Detroit. Call (800) 777-0028 or to speak with one of our Michigan personal injury lawyers.

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