April 23, 2014

Woman avoids prison in fatal texting and driving crash

A 20-year-old Fox Valley woman will avoid prison time, after she hit and killed a cyclist with her car while texting and driving.

An Outagamie County judge sentenced PaKou Xiong to one year in jail and five years of probation for the accident in July of 2012 that killed 46-year-old Jim Weiss of Kimberly. Xiong pleaded no contest in June to a charge of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.

District attorney Carrie Schneider, who had asked for a two to three year prison term, says she was disappointed by the sentence. She says this is the type of crime where the penalties will likely increase over time, as more cases occur and there’s more pressure to hand down stiffer sentences.

Xiong must also perform 100 hours of community service, which will include speaking to students about the dangers of texting and driving while wearing an orange jail jumpsuit. Schneider is hopeful that will help change some lives and convince teenagers to avoid texting while they are behind the wheel of a car.

Rick Schuh, WHBY