Fatal Texting Crash Sentence 27 Apr 12

A New Richland woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist because she was texting while driving has been sentenced to perform 480 hours of community service. 23-year-old Erica Nelson was also placed on probation for 10 years and ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution. The accident happened in August of 2010 on Highway 30 just east of New Richland. Nelson was reportedly driving over 70 miles-per-hour on the wrong side of the road when she struck the motorcycle head-on. 58-year-old Ronald Berschman, of Buffalo Center, Iowa died shortly after the crash at a Rochester hospital. A check of Nelson’s cell phone records indicated she had sent a text message at the time the crash occurred.