David S Muslovski


David S Muslovski

Death 17 Jun 2010 (aged 55)
Burial Columbiana, Columbiana County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 229495403 View Source
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STRUTHERS, Ohio - It's a lesson in the deadly consequences of texting behind the wheel.

Whitney Yaeger of Springfield Township was sentenced to 45 days in the Mahoning County Jail, a 3-year driver's license suspension, 3-years probation, a fine, and 200 hours of community service that requires her to speak to young drivers about how texting behind the wheel can change lives forever.

Yaeger pled guilty to vehicular homicide, a misdemeanor, in the death of 55-year-old David Muslovski, a successful business owner whose family packed the Struther's courtroom. It was in June of 2010 when Muslovski was struck by Yaeger, as he went for his morning walk just a short distance from his home.

One by one, Muslovski's loved ones stood before the Judge to tell their story of hurt and pain at the hands of a distracted driver.

Muslovski's twin brother couldn't hold back the tears as he showed the Judge a photo of himself with his twin brother when they were just little boys. Dan Muslovski said, "He didnt' get to retire, he was killed, and deprived of the things he had worked hard for all of his life. We are here for him today, to see closure, and to show he will never be forgotten. We are here to seek justice for him."

The victim's oldest daughter, Tina Muslovski Yanssens, broke down in tears saying, "I never got to give my Dad his Father's Day gift that year. Now I will never ever be able to do that again, because of you. You have completely changed my life."

Then it was time for Muslovski's widow, Denise Muslovski to speak, "I lie awake at night, and I envision what he must have seen the very last few moments. You driving towards him. Him jumping out of the way, trying to avoid the collision. You never seeing him -- because you weren't looking up at all. This was not an accident, this was a choice."

As the Springfield Township woman prepared to be sentenced by the visiting Judge, she tearfully stood up with her Attorney John Juhasz. Yaeger visibly sobbed, apologizing to the Muslovski family, and admitting that what happened is proof that it only takes second for lives to be changed forever.

Yaeger said, "I stand before this court, due to a tragic accident. This is something that I deal with everyday, and none of these days have been easy. This is also a weight on my shoulders that I will carry for the rest of my life."

Yaeger's family and friends were also moved to tears, realizing there are no winners in this case, and no one can change what happened that one day, in just a matter of seconds.

Then, the Judge issued Yaeger's punishment. Part of that sentence was the one thing Yaeger's Attorney, the Prosecution and the victim's family agreed on. The critical need for Yaeger to speak to young people who have just received their license, or who are preparing to receive a license to drive.

Attorney Juhasz, who represents Yaeger says the education of young drivers is essential, "When the kids who would look at me and say, as young people do... this could never happen to me, she (Yaeger) can say, I was you, I thought it couldn't happen to me either. That's where she can have a real impact."

The victim's family couldn't agree more, Tina Yanssens says, "I believe if done appropriately, her presentation is going to be extremely powerful. I have told Mom, I would be willing to work with Whitney to make this even more powerful of an impact for these kids. Because when I go in and talk to them, they listen. They get it. And what could be more powerful than the two of us working together to help this community heal?"

Yanssens and her mother have worked tirelessly since the tragedy, speaking to young people and gathering signatures to petition for a statewide texting ban. Something they say other families who have suffered similar tragedies have been fighting to make happen for years.

On June 1st, Ohio Governor John Kasich did sign the bill in to law. The Musolvski family received copies of the signed bill today, just as they prepared to give their victim impact statements to the court.

The law banning texting while driving takes effect August 30th. Muslovski's daughter says along with the sentencing, it's an important step towards healing for the family.

Yanssen has also been contacted by the "National Safety Council," in Washington, D.C. to help them spread the word nationally about distracted driving. Something this daughter will proudly do in memory of her father, a man she says was her mentor, and her best friend.

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