Was Teenager Texting While Driving During Deadly Crash?
WEST ALLIS - Some new details show what a young driver may have been doing when her car allegedly struck and killed a 53-year-old woman on a busy street in West Allis.
Many question if the driver was texting while driving.
"We just had a person hit by a car on 97th and National," says a voice on the 911 call.
"They're laying in the street."
Linda Zyduck was crossing National Avenue earlier this month when a car struck and killed her.
The impact was so severe, those working in area shops heard what happened.
"I heard the car hit (her) from inside my building," said one worker from the area.
Zyduck suffered several injuries. All of her ribs were broken and she had numerous bruises and fractures.
Police say Sarah Mlachnik, 19, is the driver who struck Linda.
She was coming from Cardinal Stritch University and was on her way to West Allis Central High School when the incident happened.
According to a police report that was just released, Mlachnik told detectives she did not see Linda.
Witnesses telling 911 operators that it happened so quickly, that Sarah was shaken up.
"It happened so quick in front of me, I couldn't believe is," said the 911 caller.
"She's here. She's very upset."
The police report also says that an officer on scene asked Mlachnik if she was on the phone or texting at the time of the crash.
Mlachnik told an officer on the scene that she was not.
According to a TODAY'S TMJ4 screen shot of her phone, she has three texts from 3:17 p.m. to 3:21 p.m. and received a text at 4:50 p.m. when the crash happened.
The officer in the report said that Mlachnik couldn't remember when she sent the texts, or when she looked at them.
In the officer's opinion, probable factors in this crash include inattentive driving.
Mlachnik admitted that she sent text messages, but claims it was only after the crash.
Prosecutors say they could not prove that it led to the accident.
That's why she was only charged with a misdemeanor.
She faces nine months behind bars if she is convicted.