The driver involved in an accident that occurred in Tolland last June has been arrested, following an investigation that revealed his use of a GPS on his cell phone contributed to the crash, as stated by state police.
Paul Grillo, 23, from Windsor Locks, admitted to checking his cell phone GPS just before the accident, leading to his arrest on charges of third-degree assault, operating a motor vehicle while using a handheld electronic device, and failure to drive in the proper lane. Grillo posted a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Vernon Superior Court on May 31.
The incident in question took place on Kozley Road in Tolland on June 29, when Seema Kohli, 50, was struck from behind while walking on the opposite side of the road. Kohli suffered severe and permanent injuries from the crash, including a traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and injuries to her torso and extremities, according to a lawsuit filed by her husband against Grillo and his employer, Windsor Winair.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages exceeding $15,000, the base amount for any civil lawsuit. The state police affidavit supporting Grillo’s arrest outlines the sequence of events as follows:
Upon arriving at the accident scene and arranging for Kohli to be transported to the hospital by LifeStar medical helicopter, state police conducted an interview with Grillo. He explained that he was en route to his third delivery of the day on Kozley Road and, being only a few minutes away, checked his GPS to confirm the address.
Grillo stated that while glancing at his phone in the center console, he unintentionally veered into the oncoming lane and suddenly felt and heard an impact. Immediately after the collision, he contacted 911 for assistance.
Grillo’s arrest underscores the dangers of distracted driving and highlights the serious consequences that can result from such behavior. The legal proceedings will continue, and the civil lawsuit seeks to address the damages suffered by Seema Kohli.