Nearly seven months after a driver killed a University of Wisconsin student in an automobile accident, a newly filed criminal complaint obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal alleges the suspect was texting while driving.
In the criminal complaint, authorities alleged 20-year-old Stephanie Kanoff of Sun Prairie was texting before she struck and killed Dylan Ellefson, whose car was disabled on the 1400 block of East Johnson Street, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Kanoff is charged with homicide by negligent driving for the Oct. 24 incident. The complaint, which was filed Tuesday, stated Kanoff told police she called her mother and then 911 immediately following the accident.
A review of her cell phone’s call log found Kanoff placed a call to her mother at 12:32 p.m. and afterward made a 911 call at 12:34 p.m., which Kanoff said she made while still in her minivan following the accident, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. A further review of the phone also revealed three text messages had been sent just prior to the accident at 12:27 p.m., 12:31 p.m. and 12:32 p.m.
Kanoff reported to police that she was driving home from work in the afternoon on East Johnson Street in heavy traffic and was attempting to move into the left lane but was being blocked by a large truck, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. Kanoff then said she saw a silver car in front of her make a swerving move to the left and then saw a man standing in her lane of traffic. She told police she then slammed on her brakes, causing her car to skid.
The criminal complaint said a police officer at the accident scene found no distinct evidence on the road suggesting Kanoff’s minivan had braked before the accident.
A police investigator also determined Ellefson’s hazards had been turned on prior to the accident, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
District Attorney Ismael Ozanne told the Wisconsin State Journal that the seven-month time span that elapsed before charges were filed was largely due to time required to create a crash reconstruction.
Kanoff will appear in court Wednesday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
Ellefson, who was studying at UW to become a Spanish teacher and was a 2007 graduate of Sun Prairie High School, died of head injuries sustained in the accident.
–The Associated Press contributed to this report.