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Texting driver gets 45 days in jail in death of Springfield man

Published: Wed, August 8, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.

Springfield woman to survivors: I’m sorry




A woman driver who ran over and killed a man two years ago while texting starts serving 45 days in the Mahoning County jail today.

Visiting Judge Barbara Watson of Struthers Municipal Court sentenced Whitney Yaeger, 22, of Springfield Township to 180 days in jail, suspending 135 of them. She was to report to the jail at 9 a.m.

Yaeger also was sentenced to three years of probation when she gets out of jail, and she must get mental health counseling.

She also must pay a $900 fine.

Her driver’s license is suspended for three years, but the court could grant limited driving privileges.

She also must perform 200 hours of community service — speaking to teenagers about the danger of distracted driving.

Yaeger killed David Muslovski, 55, of Springfield Township as he was out for a walk at 5:30 a.m. June 17, 2010. She pleaded “no contest” in December to vehicular homicide.

Muslovski was the founder of a Campbell business called Iron City Wood Products, which rehabs and sells wooden pallets.

Muslovski’s family, particularly his daughter Tina Yanssens, became outspoken activists against texting while driving in Ohio.

She and her mother, Denise Muslovski, were in Gov. John Kasich’s office June 1 when he signed a ban on texting while driving into law.

The Muslovski family also pushed to have Yaeger charged with felony vehicular homicide, but that did not happen. Yaeger was charged with a misdemeanor.

Yanssens, Denise Muslovski and David Muslovski’s twin brother, Dan, gave statements to Judge Watson before the sentencing.

Yaeger also gave a statement.

“He was a good man, a good son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, friend and businessman,” said Dan Muslovski.

“He was my twin, mentor, classmate, teammate and best friend,” he continued while crying.

“He worked hard for what he had. He was going to back off work and enjoy retirement with his wife, Denise.”

Yanssens told Yaeger a day didn’t go by that she hadn’t thought about what to say to her.

She said she does not believe Yaeger has accepted responsibility or has any remorse for Muslovski’s death.

“We pay the consequences every day while you have yet to pay any,” Yanssens told Yaeger. “You still have your license and drive around in the same car you ran over my father with.”

“I never got to give my dad his Father’s Day gift that year,” she continued.

Denise Muslovksi said Yaeger will never know the emotional pain she’s caused.

“I lie awake at night and envision what he must have seen — you driving toward him,” she said.

She said she never got to be with her husband that day.

“What was he thinking?” she said. “We’ll never know ‘cause I never got to see my husband alive that day. I never had a chance to tell him one last time how much I loved him.”

“He was everything to me,” she continued. “I’m forced to pick up the pieces alone, not easy after being a couple for almost 40 years.”

Yaeger sobbed throughout her statement.

“This is something I deal with every day, and none of these days has been easy,” she said. “I felt I could handle distracted driving but as we know, lives changed. I’m sorry.”

Yanssens said she would have rather seen Yaeger get more jail time. “But I think the community service is a good thing,” she said.


1NoBS(2758 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

45 days and $900 - that's the value of the life of an honest, hard working, self-employed family man. That's sickening.

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2Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

45 days for killing a Innocent citizen because she was texting and driving? So that is really going to stop others from doing it and killing more innocent people. Is society that stupid?

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3HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

It would be interesting to see if the judge valued his family member as much as this man. My guess is, the perpetrator would receive a much harsher sentence if the victim was related to the judge. It really is amazing how easy people who text and drive get off when they kill someone with what is careless and non-thinking behavior.

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4AtownAugie(882 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I looked up Judge Watson's decision in Roget's Thesaurus. The first entry? "OUTRAGEOUS"

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5VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

People who text are very dangerous because they are clueless as to what is going on around them while they text.

The other day, while I was at a drive-thru atm, a teen girl was texting while walking diagonally thru the parking lot directly in front of me as I was attempting to leave. I had to wait for her to cross, but the guy behind me started blasting his horn, so I tooted mine at her. Without even looking up and still texting, she side-stepped into the path of a car that was pulling into the parking lot off the street! The car had to hit its brakes and wait for her to cross and she was still texting! Meanwhile, the guy behind me was still blasting his horn at me for not moving out of the atm lane! The girl walked into a store without even knowing what just happened around her.

Idiots! We live with Idiots! How they stay alive is only thru the life-giving generosity of others around them.

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6whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Jerrie your being a jerk again, 21 comments of how whitey gets away with it, and the po black race card will never get anything.

I dont like the sentence either, but I dont condone rasicm either.

If you have ever had a blood transfusion , surgery do you tell the doctor you do not want whitey's blood, I think not.


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7Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago


Quit the stupid race baiting, it's so boring. Come up with something original instead of the same old same old. smh at such stupidity in society today.

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8WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Minor scuffle with a cop = 300+ days in jail
Kill an ordinary man = 45 days in jail

I think I see how the 'leaders' and 'rulers' of the valley see themselves. All Dems, no? Keep filling in the "D" on the ballots though idiots.

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9redeye1(5612 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

What a slap to the faces of his family. Its makes one wonder what the next person convicted of killng someone while texting and driving will get? Judges can't see why people is this valley don't take them seiously. This is why!

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10HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Swinger is half correct. A minor scuffle with a cop will net you a year in the pokey but killing a regular citizen while texting is worth 45 days. But it isn't because Democrats control the valley. That's the value everywhere and it's ludicrous. Next, he'll be blaming the hot weather on the Democrats.

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11southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

45 days and most likely she will do it again in the future...an idiot that got away with murder

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12rocky14(830 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

You think 45 days isn't enough? What about the young lady who went through a red light in Y Town while texting and got PROBATION about a month ago?.
Talk about idiot judges!

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13HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Yeah hurrdurr, especially when you have people driving and testing. I guess bikers, motorcyclist, other drivers and walkers are fools for thinking the roads are for all.

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14ThatGirl(17 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

This entire situation is a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to the Muslovski family as losing a family member, especially so quickly, is very difficult. Distracting driving is dangerous and sometimes even deadly, as this incident shows us. And when a person loses their life, there should most certainly be repercussions.

However, can all of you who sit in judgement of Yaeger honestly say you have never been guilty of distracted driving? Have you never been behind the wheel of the car and been preoccupied by a text, phone call, your children in the backseat, changing the radio station, etc.? Distracted driving includes so much more than just texting. May we all learn something from this tragedy.

Be responsible. Be safe.

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15HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Hurrdurr says: Look, if you're going to go for a walk, ride a bike, motorcycle etc. there are risks.

Yup, and people who text while driving and kill someone should be punished more severely than 45 days.

Certain behaviors like texting and driving needs to have consequences far beyond 45 days in jail.

The goal should be to eliminate the risk and not make the victim out to be at fault.

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16spanky0124(3 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Hurrdurr I am with you. When you hit the road you have to look out for yourself. So the law was passed for no texting in ohio like people obey that law. I want to know for all the negative writers how many of you can say you have never texted or used your gps unit, put make up on or dialed your cell phone while driving? I could happen to you.

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17WilliamSwinger(341 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

@HaydenThomas, YBR

Judgement after judgement, story after story these judges, elected officials and public servants consistently act out of self interest, egotism and poor judgement. That is a fact. These judges, elected officials and public servants are all Democrats. That is a fact.

A judge recently sent a woman to jail for a year for a minor scuffle with a cop. No drugs, guns, etc. were involved, just a woman having a minor scuffle with an officer she claims assaulted her after a stop for failure to signal. Big effing deal. Nobody was hurt. The officers are paid to do this job which sometimes involves a physical confrontation. She deserves a punishment for the altercation but to imprison her for a year for this? A year of incarceration only makes sense viewed with the hubris of "the local law."

On the other hand, a man is killed by a negligent driver and the same "local law" decides for a sentence much less than the other. Obviously an offense against a member of ruling class is very important whereas an offense against a member of the working class is approaching a hundred times less significant in terms of jail time.

It is utterly stupid to fail to see the problem here. These are stupid decisions. In the very least the sentences should be the opposite. More appropriately the woman with the minor scuffle should get 30 days and the text murderer should get 10 years. Magnitude of sentence equals magnitude of offense. Simple- unless you're a Democrat that is self-obsessed.

They made the decisions. Their decisions speak for themselves. This is what their decisions say about their view of themselves, others and the world around them. And they are Democrats. If you don't like the actions of your fellow Democrats then disavow them.

And it wouldn't surprise me if somehow the Dems are responsible for the hot weather. They are responsible for every other negative thing affecting this valley and beyond.

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