02/15/2011 11:54 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Woman Was Updating Facebook During Fatal Crash, Lawsuit Alleges

Seventy-year-old Raymond Veloz got into a fender-bender in South Chicago one morning last December. He stepped out of his car to sort it out, according to police, when a motorist driving south on Ewing Avenue struck him with her car. Veloz died from injuries in the accident.

That driver told police that the sun had momentarily obscured her vision, WLS reports. She was ticketed with failure to avoid striking a pedestrian.

But a lawsuit filed by Veloz's daughter Monday alleges a different cause for the crash: Facebook.

The suit names Araceli Beas as the driver of the fatal car. The Chicago Tribune gives more details from the filing:

The suit states that Beas' Facebook page shows that she updated it by mobile phone at 7:54 a.m., the same time that Veloz made an emergency 911 phone call.


[Veloz's daughter Regina] Cabrales alleges that Beas negligently operated her vehicle "without keeping a proper and sufficient outlook."

She also claims that Beas was driving while using an electronic communication device, an act that was made illegal in Illinois in 2009.

Cabrales is seeking unspecified damages. Beas could not be reached for comment.