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Warrant: Woman who killed pedestrian with car was distracted by phone

The warrant stated that had she not been on her phone, the accident would have never occurred.

SMYRNA, Ga. -- A woman has been charged with a man's death after she ran over him because she was on her phone.

Lameeka Shatia Burden was charged with homicide by vehicle in the first degree after she hit Gerald Staton with her car while she was talking on her cell phone. Warrants suggest the phone distraction is what led her to leave the roadway.

Burden admitted that she saw a woman who was walking her dog but did not see Staton. Burden had been calling her brother - who she was picking up at the time - when she hit Staton, who eventually died from his injuries.

"If said accused (Burden) was not distracted on her cell phone, the accident would have never occurred," the warrant said.

In addition to driving while distracted and homicide by vehicle in the first degree, Burden has also been charged with reckless driving, failure to maintain her lane and driving under unsafe conditions [worn out tires].

Smyrna is the first municipality in Georgia to pass a measure to force drivers to go hands-free while behind the wheel.

RELATED | Smyrna leading state on hands-free legislation

The ordinance was passed on Jan. 2 and it prohibits drivers from having phones in their hands while driving within the city's limits.

It does allow a "one-touch" rule which means drivers can answer a call, hang up a call or open a navigational app. However, once the phone or app has been activated, drivers must use voice commands only.


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