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Norwalk Police: Teen New Canaan Driver Used iPhone

NORWALK, Conn. – A teenage New Canaan girl accused of killing a Norwalk jogger was using her iPhone continuously while driving on that fateful Saturday morning, according to the affidavit filed at Norwalk Superior Court. She was looking at websites and accessing iTunes, the affidavit said.

The girl was driving a 2001 Toyota 4Runner on March 24 when she struck 44-year-old runner Kenneth Dorsey at about 9:31 a.m. in the area of 229 New Canaan Ave., according to the affidavit written by Sgt. David O'Connor, lead investigator in the case.

A man who was driving behind her saw the Toyota veer back into the road from the shoulder and kick up dust. The affidavit said he did not see brake lights. The Toyota pulled over, and after the witness saw Dorsey lying by the side of the road, he pulled over, too, and called 911 at 9:31:26 a.m. Both drivers were traveling 35 to 40 mph. Police said there were no skid marks.

The girl was crying and hysterical, according to the account in the affidavit.

Another witness said Dorsey had been running southbound, the same direction as the Toyota, according to the affidavit. The shoulder of the road narrows at that point, which is just past the crest of a hill. Dorsey suffered a broken back and multiple skull fractures, the affidavit says. He was pronounced dead at Norwalk Hospital at 12:53 p.m.

The girl's iPhone was seized at the scene by Sgt. James Walsh. Sgt. Matt Brodacki of the Weston Police Department, who is experienced in the forensic analysis of cellphones, examined it, according to the affidavit.

Brodacki said the girl was on the phone with her mother for 6 minutes and 15 seconds before the accident. In the 10 minutes before the first 911 call was received, the iPhone made several contacts with the Internet, according to Brodacki. At 9:21:37 a.m. it had activity on an iTunes playlist, he said. At 9:31:24 the phone accessed the New Canaan High School website. At 9:31:33 it again accessed the iTunes list. At 9:31:33 there was activity on the mobile library Cache Safari. At 9:31:34, there was activity for a search engine playlist. At 9:31:49, the phone was in contact with a wireless library.

Police do not know whether the driver was using her iTunes account or uploading material automatically. They say she had to be holding the phone in her hand and pressing keys to enter data when she went to the high school's website at 9:31:24 a.m., two seconds before the first 911 call about the injured jogger.

Police applied for a warrant May 9. It was signed by Judge Bruce Hudock on Friday, May 11, and the girl turned herself in Saturday.

She was charged with negligent homicide by motor vehicle, failure to drive in an established lane and distracted driving, according to the affidavit. She was released on the condition that she not drive. Her court date is May 24.

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