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Police: Driver Looking At WhatsApp Messages When She Fatally Struck Pedestrian

WESTLAKE (CBSLA) — Police say an unlicensed driver was looking at her cell phone when she hit and killed a man who was crossing the street in Westlake Wednesday night.

The accident happened on 6th Street near MacArthur Park at around 8 p.m.

Police say the victim, 65-year-old Yong Do Kim, was crossing in the marked crosswalk when he was hit. The impact caused him to fly 30 to 40 feet.

"She was traveling about 30 to 35 miles an hour, not paying attention. She was looking at her messages on the WhatsApp on her phone," said LAPD Det. Moses Castillo.

Police arrested 38-year-old Rosario Valdezinda, an unlicensed driver and an LA resident, for vehicular manslaughter and are investigating a report she tried to flee the scene but was stopped by a group of witnesses who got in front of her car.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving kills an average of nine people and injures 1,000 people every day.

AAA research from March 2018 found 45 percent of drivers admitted to reading a text or email while driving in the last month and 35 percent admitted to having typed one.

"The message here today is if you're going to drive, just pull over," said Det. Castillo. "It's not worth it. It's not worth you getting hurt or you having to go to jail because you hurt somebody or killed somebody."

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