It's been two months since Barbara Wilkins first heard the news that no mother ever wants to hear. Her 20-year-old daughter Charla Wilkins was killed when a car slammed into her motorcycle at the intersection of Jewetta Avenue and Reina Road in Southwest Bakersfield on April 14.
Bakersfield police say the driver, 20-year-old Anna Marie Reynosa, was distracted by her cell phone when she struck Wilkins.
"In my opinion, it's almost the same as being impaired while you are driving. The impairment causes the distraction," said Michael Yraceburn, the supervising deputy district attorney.
Authorities say these types of stories are happening across the country. Just last week, a Massachusetts teen was among the first convicted under a texting and driving law. The now, 18-year-old will spend a year in jail for a fatal accident that happened while he was texting.
"The simple fact is people continue to be killed and injured despite the fact these deaths are 100% preventable," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood.
Statistics from the first federal study on young people, who text while driving reveal more than half of high school seniors admitted they've sent a text or email from behind the wheel.
Back at home, officers say Reynosa admitted to manipulating her cell phone and sending a text message while driving. It's news Wilkin's mother can't bear to hear.
"Why would you get behind a wheel and not pay attention," said Wilkins in April. "There's so many lives on the streets and my baby don't have one now."
Reynosa was arrested Friday and bailed out of custody the same day on a $50,000 bond. Reynosa is set to enter a plea to the felony charge this afternoon. If she is convicted, she could be sentenced to up to six years in prison.