Chicago Driver Sued for Updating Facebook Page During Fatal Crash

Facebook shown on HP's tiniest WebOS phone, the palm-size Veer.
James Martin/CNET
Chicago Motorist Araceli Beas Accused of Updating Facebook During Fatal Crash, Says Lawsuit

(CBS/WBBM) A 21-year-old Chicago motorist has been hit with a wrongful death lawsuit after she allegedly struck and killed a 70-year-old man while attempting to update her Facebook page on her cell phone.

The daughter of the victim, Raymond Veloz, filed the suit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court claiming that Araceli Beas' Facebook page showed an update posted at 7:54 a.m. on Dec. 7, 2010 - the same time that Veloz's cell phone records showed a call being made to 911.

Veloz's daughter Regina Cabrales alleges in her suit that Beas operated her vehicle without keeping a proper and sufficient focus, drove while using an electronic communication device and failed to slow down to avoid an accident, reports CBS affiliate WBBM.

Beas' mother, Rosario Rodriguez, came to her daughter's defense claiming that she posted the Facebook update as she sat in her car while waiting for it to warm up outside her boyfriend's home two miles away from where the crash occurred, reports The Chicago Tribune.

Beas told police that she had been temporarily blinded by the sun at the time of the collision.

Beas was ticketed for striking a pedestrian in the roadway, a Chicago police spokesman said, according to CBS affiliate WBBM.

Veloz had exited his vehicle after getting into a minor accident with another motorist around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 7. He was standing near the other driver's vehicle exchanging information when he was struck by Beas, says WBBM.

Veloz was pronounced dead around 9:30 a.m. at a nearby hospital, says The Tribune.

Cabrales is asking for an unspecified amount of money.