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Suit: Motorist Updating Facebook During Fatal Crash

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Cell Phone (Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Cell Phone (Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (STMW) - The family of a pedestrian fatally struck by a vehicle on the South Side in December filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the motorist, claiming she was updating her Facebook page on a cell phone when the crash happened.

Motorist Araceli Beas was updating her Facebook page on her mobile phone while driving when she fatally struck pedestrian Raymond Veloz at 7:54 a.m. Dec. 7, 2010, at 9220 S. Ewing Ave., according to a suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

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Veloz, 70, of the 8300 block of South Baker Avenue, was pronounced dead at 9:13 a.m. Dec. 7, 2010, at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The suit claims Veloz had exited his vehicle after getting into an accident with Allen Barbour. He was standing near Barbour’s vehicle exchanging information when struck by Beas’ vehicle, the suit said.

Police said two eastbound vehicles were involved in a minor accident and both drivers were exchanging information when a third eastbound vehicle fatally struck one of the motorists.

The drivers in both accidents told police the sun temporarily impaired their vision when the crashes happened, police News Affairs Officer Darryl Baety said.

The driver, identified in the lawsuit as Beas, was ticketed for striking a pedestrian in the roadway, Baety said.

The suit, filed by Veloz’ daughter, Regina Cabrales, claims Beas didn’t keep a proper lookout, drove while using an electronic communication device and failed to slow down to avoid an accident.

Beas could not immediately be reached for comment.

The two-count suit is seeking unspecified judgment against Beas.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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