Orange County News

Woman believed to be texting during fatal car crash

Friday, January 27, 2012
Jorene Nicolas, 29, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Jorene Nicolas, 29, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. (KABC Photo)

A woman was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence Thursday after colliding with a driver on the 405 Freeway last April.

Prosecutors said Jorene Nicolas, 29, of San Diego, was so distracted while driving that she didn't even realize traffic had come to a complete stop on the freeway.

As a result, 23-year-old Deanna Mauer, was killed in the accident after her car slammed into the center divider.

"It's been a nightmare," said Mauer's mother, Dawn. "All this time, it's been a total nightmare. I still can't believe it's really happened."

Deanna Mauer was a star pitcher at San Jose State University. Mauer's parents believe texting was what caused Nicolas' car to hit their daughter's at 80 mph.

"I think she was texting and this is what caused our daughter's death," said Mauer's father, Howard. "I do not think that Deanna deserved this. I think she died a senseless death."

Mauer's parents said investigators can't prove Nicolas was texting, but they believe that was the case.

"I want her to tell the truth if that was it, maybe we could save some lives," Dawn Mauer said.

Mauer's parents are now speaking out about the dangers of distracted driving, even taking their message to the streets.

"You cannot text, you cannot talk on your cellphone and drive at the same time," Howard Mauer said. "You're going to cause someone's death, and is it really worth it?"

Nicolas was arrested and held on $100,000 bail. If convicted, she faces up to six years behind bars.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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