Lawyer Questions Proof in Vermont Accident

August 22, 2011

A lawyer for a Vermont teenager accused of hitting a pedestrian with her car while texting says it’ll be tough to prove.

Eighteen-year-old Emma Vieira, of Colchester, pleaded not guilty Thursday to grossly negligent operation of a motor vehicle with serious bodily injury resulting in the Aug. 7 crash, which critically injured a woman walking her dog. The dog was killed.

Fifty-two-year-old Deborah Drewniak remains in critical condition at Fletcher Allen Heath Care in Burlington.

Vieira’s attorney, John St. Francis, tells the Burlington Free Press the collision was an accident. He says prosecutors won’t be able to show Vieira was texting at the time. Chittenden County State’s Attorney T. J. Donovan said a police affidavit stated there was one minute between Vieira’s last text and when she called 911.

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