Woman sent 19 texts in 45 mins before crash

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 18:45 20/12/2012
Eliot Jessep/Paula Jessep
TV3

WITHOUT A MUM: Eliot Jessep has been shattered by the death of his mother Paula who died in a car crash last year. The coroner found Ms Jessep was probably texting while driving.

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A Hamilton woman who died while texting and driving sent 19 texts within a 45 minute period leading up to the crash, police revealed at an inquest into her death today.

Paula Adele Jessep, 37, was killed in December last year as she travelled back from a funeral in Rotorua along State Highway 1, at Piarere.

Initial police investigations indicated that she may have been texting just before colliding head-on with another car, carrying three young women.

Today, at an inquest into her death being held at the Rotorua District Court, Taupo road policing manager Senior Sergeant Fane Troy said Ms Jessep had sent 19 messages from her phone in the 45 minutes leading up to the crash.

Ms Jessep's only child, Eliot, 17, said although there were the texts on her phone, the heat inside the car could have caused her to become tired and distracted.

Coroner Wallace Bain reserved his decision and recommendations today and will release them in the New Year.

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