Amid Screams of 'Red Light!' Texting Driver Kills 2: Cops

Prosecutors say Carlee Bollig, 17, was texting
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2015 9:18 AM CDT
Amid Screams of 'Red Light!' Texting Driver Kills 2: Cops
A photo from the GoFundMe page for the Chuck & Cassy Maurer Memorial Fund (donate at link below).   (GoFundMe)

As far as alleged texting-while-driving stories go, this one is particularly rough: A 54-year-old Minnesota man and his 10-year-old daughter were killed when a pickup T-boned their van on a July evening between the towns of Becker and Big Lake. The driver of the pickup was not 17-year-old Carlee Bollig's boyfriend, as initially believed, reports the Star-Tribune. It was Carlee herself, who was charged last week with six counts, including criminal vehicular homicide. The picture prosecutors are painting is one of total disregard: Carlee was in the truck with three teens who also survived; one was Caysi Jaronske, who told police that she told Carlee to stop texting at least eight or nine times that night. Carlee allegedly told Caysi she "didn't care if she crashed," and to "f--- off," and Caysi says that as the car neared the fatal intersection, someone in the truck screamed "red light, red light!"

What investigators found in the weeks since, per prosecutors: Carlee never hit the brakes, and she used Facebook Messenger between 7:49pm and 7:57pm; the initial 911 call was logged at 7:59pm, reports the St. Cloud Times. The Star-Tribune reports that 10 days after the crash, Caysi told police Carlee and another passenger had agreed to say the boyfriend was behind the wheel because no one else in the car had a valid license. DNA evidence helped police make their determination. The St. Cloud Times in August cited search warrants stating that the truck's passengers had stopped in St. Cloud for the purpose of doing drugs; synthetic marijuana and a pipe were found in the truck. Killed were Charles Maurer and daughter Cassy, who would have been a fifth-grader this year; her 16-year-old sister and a 15-year-old friend survived. (A Michigan judge handed an unusual sentence to a texting driver who killed a cyclist.)

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