A young North Dakota woman charged with killing an 89-year-old great-grandmother in a daytime crash stands accused of rear-ending an SUV at 85 mph while looking at Facebook photos on her phone.
Abby Sletten, 20, of Hatton, N.D., appeared Wednesday in Trial County court after being charged with negligent homicide in the late May death of Phyllis Gordon, from Ada, Minn. on Interstate 29 , between Fargo and Grand Forks, KARE-TV reported. She was released on her own recognizance.
Gordon was a front-seat passenger in an SUV driven by her 34-year-old granddaughter, who had slowed to make an unauthorized U-turn across the median on the afternoon of May 27. Sletten's SUV then slammed into the vehicle, killing Gordon and injuring her granddaughter and a great-granddaughter.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol determined she was traveling roughly 85 mph and had not tried to brake.
The criminal complaint states that it was determined that Sletten "was viewing pictures on her Facebook application on her phone, at the time of the crash," and that she had "also sent and received several text messages since she departed from Fargo."
Sletten told police she did not remember the crash.
Gordon's survivors include eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, the Minneapolis Star Tribune noted.