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Woman Named Cowit Crashes Into Cows While Texting

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By Betty Wang, JD on November 05, 2013 1:37 PM

A 21-year-old upstate New York woman has been arrested for texting and driving, New York's WNBC-TV reports, but that's not the whole story.

Here's the clincher, Daisy Cowit is her legal name, and she allegedly drove into a herd of...what? That's right, cows.

Three of the cows she hit were seriously injured and required emergency surgeries, and while the cows themselves aren't able to assert legal action, the state certainly can. Here's a breakdown of the charges that Cowit is now looking to face for her moo-ving violation:

Got Charges?

Cowit, who was using her cell phone, plowed her Jeep into six cows on Mountain Road -- nearly hitting two farm workers, WNBC reports. She is now being charged with:

  • Reckless endangerment. Reckless endangerment generally exists when one recklessly engages in conduct that creates a risk of injury to another person. In this case, Cowit was clearly disregarding the risk of seriously hurting others as she allegedly wasn't focusing on the road while driving.
  • Criminal mischief. Vandalism generally refers to defacing someone else's property, but depending on state, it can be charged as criminal mischief. Cowit can be charged with criminal mischief because she was likely on someone else's property when the cows were struck, and probably caused some damage to the land, fence, and definitely to the cows.
  • Reckless driving. Reckless driving typically refers to any type of driving that involves a wanton disregard for safety or harmful consequences. In New York, reckless driving is a misdemeanor and is defined by driving in a manner that unreasonably dangers other users of a public highway.

Reminder: Never Text and Drive

On top of her criminal charges, Cowit also faces a number of distracted driving related traffic infractions. Distracted driving is an umbrella category that covers any type of driving where a driver is paying less than full attention to the road (e.g., eating while driving or texting while driving.) These laws will vary by state, but New York has specifically barred both handheld cell phone usage and texting while driving.

Regardless of what one's state laws say when it comes to distracted driving, let Cowit's case serve as a stern reminder to never text and drive. As we now know, the safety of both animals and humans are at stake.

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