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Michigan woman who was distracted by phone is charged with reckless driving

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A Michigan woman is charged with reckless driving after she was involved in a crash in February that killed a passenger. According to police, the woman was distracted by her phone during the accident.

The 27-year-old woman, a resident of Riley, Michigan, allegedly failed to stop at a red light at an intersection in Washington Township, Michigan. The suspect was said to be driving southbound through the traffic light when she struck the other vehicle, which had a green light and was traveling west. The driver was not injured but felt the impact. However, her passenger had to be extricated from the vehicle and transported to the local hospital. The victim later died from his injuries, according to a news release from the Macomb County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff told local station FOX 2 that the victim was a 63-year-old woman.

The suspect was also taken to the hospital and released two days later because of her injuries, police said.

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Woman charged in connection with fatal accident

The suspect is charged with one count of reckless driving resulting in death.

This charge is a 15-year felony in Michigan.

No charges are currently planned, police said.

The woman was reportedly using her phone to text and watch a movie before the accident occurred

According to police, the accident occurred when the driver was distracted by her phone before the collision.

According to the news release, the woman told law enforcement officers that she had been using her cell phone for GPS prior to the accident.

Investigators working the case told FOX 2 that the woman's phone records revealed she was doing more on the phone than she originally told authorities.

“And information uncovered through our investigation confirmed that she was texting on the phone and appeared to be listening or watching a movie,” Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham told the outlet.

“This tragedy could have been prevented if the suspect had not been active on her phone,” Wickersham said in the news release. “I once again encourage everyone to please put their phones away when driving. Focus on the road. Obey the law and keep your hands free while driving.”

USA TODAY reached out to the Macomb County Sheriff's Office and the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office for more information on the case, including the identities of the suspect and victim. The sheriff's office declined further comment on the incident.

Ahjané Forbes is a reporter on USA TODAY's National Trending Team. Ahjané covers breaking news, auto recalls, crime, health, lottery and public policy stories. Send her an email at aforbes@gannett.com. Follow her on Instagram, Threads and X (Twitter).

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