Woman facing charges for hitting, killing flagger in Klamath County

KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore. – A woman is being charged in connection with the death of a construction zone flagger in Klamath County.

According to Oregon State Police, on June 18 a gold Honda driven by 38-year-old Zahra Gonzales of Klamath Falls was traveling westbound on Highway 140 East just outside of Klamath Falls.

The Klamath County District Attorney’s office said Gonzales was traveling at a high rate of speed and “constantly” using a cell phone when approaching a “well-marked” construction area.

Near milepost 8, Gonzales hit a road construction flagger, identified as 45-year-old Daniel Wessel of Klamath Falls. He died from his injuries.

On July 25, prosecutors announced Gonzales will face multiple criminal charges in connection with the incident, including manslaughter, 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,” Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello said in part. “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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