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Texting Driver Pleads Guilty To Causing Fatal Accident

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LAPEER (WWJ/AP) – A Lapeer man who police say caused a fatal crash while texting and driving has made a guilty plea.

Forty-one-year-old Jerry Joseph pleaded guilty on Thursday to a moving violation causing death and to driving without insurance.

He is accused of causing a crash that killed 78-year-old Irene Paquin of Lapeer County’s Attica Township on November 30 last year.

Paquin was the passenger in the car driven by her 81-year-old husband Paul, which was broadsided Joesph’s car. Paul was seriously hurt in the crash, but lived.

“The allegations are that he (Joseph) was operating a motor vehicle on M-21, right around the speed limit, about 55 to 60 miles per hour. And there’s some evidence that he was texting either simultaneously or just prior to a collision where he disregarded the stop sign,” said Lapeer County Prosecutor Byron Konschuh.

Police later determined that Joseph was texting on his phone at the time of the crash.

Joseph will return to court to be sentenced on May 18.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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