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Woman charged in death of Klamath County construction worker

Zahra Gonzales faces manslaughter charges.

Posted: Jul 25, 2019 9:14 AM
Updated: Jul 25, 2019 10:06 AM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -- The Klamath County District Attorney has charged a Klamath Falls woman with manslaughter in the death of a construction worker.

On June 18, 2019, Daniel Wessel was working as a flagger for Rocky Mountain Construction. He was hit and killed by a car on Highway 140, east of Klamath Falls. 

Oregon State Police says Zahra Gonzales was driving the car at the time of the crash. The investigation concluded that she had been speeding and on her cell phone while driving toward the construction area.

Gonzales was arrested shortly after the crash on unrelated charges.

The Klamath County District Attorney announced Thursday she is charged with Manslaughter I, Manslaughter II, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Reckless Driving and Reckless Endangering.

"While cellular phones are a wonderful convenience, they simply have no place being used while driving a car," said District Attorney Eve Costello in a statement. "So, while those of us responsible for enforcing public safety implore you not to use cell phones while driving, we will also zealously prosecute offenders who violate these laws, putting all of our friends and families at risk."

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