Sheriff: Driver in deadly crash distracted by cell phone

CORVALLIS, Ore. - A driver who lost control of her van and fatally collided with a Eugene motorcyclist faces criminal charges after deputies say she was distracted by a cell phone moments before the crash.

Deputies arrested Veronica Avila Diaz, 28, on Thursday on second degree manslaughter, reckless driving and 7 counts of reckless endangering for her role in the Sept. 30 crash that killed 72-year-old Kenneth Douglas "Doug" Carroll.

Deputies said Diaz and her passenger, Jose Gutierrez, were using a cellphone to take picture just before Diaz lost control of her 1996 Ford Windstar as she was southbound on Hwy 99.

The van crossed into the oncoming lane and turned sideways, the sheriff's office said.

Carroll was northbound on Hwy 99 on his motorcycle and crashed into the side of the van.

A 2005 Mustang driven by Danielle Rose Krier, 17, of Eugene was traveling behind the motorcyclist and swerved to avoid the accident. The Mustang crashed into the ditch but did not hit either the van or the motorcycle, the sheriff's office said.

Gutierrez also faces charges of hindering prosecution and interfering with a police officer, deputies said.

Three children, ages 6 months to 11 years, were also in the van.