Woman’s texts kill man, may cost her 6 years

Ana Gomez, 24, was texting when she ran a stop sign and crashed into a motorcycle in 2015 near Goshen

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – If you’ve ever questioned what the cost of texting while driving is, a recent court case says it’s the rest of one person’s life and six years for another.

On Dec. 10, a jury convicted Ana Gomez, 24, of Goshen of one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and one infraction count of driving while using an electronic communications device.

Around mid-day on Oct. 28, 2015, Gomez was returning to Tulare County from Hanford. She was traveling northbound on Road 52 towards Goshen when she ran the stop sign at Avenue 304, pulling her vehicle directly into the path of an oncoming motorcycle operated by the 65-year-old victim. Gomez failed to break and took no evasive action, resulting in a collision with the victim. Gomez and her vehicle came to a stop in a field around 170 feet away from the impact. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cell phone records showed Gomez sent text messages in the minutes leading up to the collision. Judge Gary Paden will sentence Gomez on Jan. 14, 2019 in Department 6 of the Tulare County Superior Court, Visalia Division, where prosecutors will argue for the maximum sentence under existing California law of six years in state prison.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Rodney Blaco and investigated by Officer Michael McWain of the California Highway Patrol and Criminal Investigator Chris Porter of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.

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