Motorist sues woman on phone

San Roque car accident allegedly caused by distracted driving

A man has filed a lawsuit over the injuries he allegedly suffered when a car being driven by a woman who was distracted by her cell phone rear-ended his vehicle along Chalan Pale Arnold Road in San Roque last January.

Rodel Laurenaria, through counsel Victorino DLG Torres, is suing Jin Hui Kwon before the Superior Court.

Laurenaria is demanding damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and expenses, as well as payment of court costs.

The plaintiff requested a mandatory mediation conference. If mediation is unsuccessful, he wants a jury trial.

As of press time yesterday, Saipan Tribune was still trying to get comments from Kwon.

According to Torres in the complaint, last Jan. 2, Laurenaria was driving his vehicle north on the inner lane along Chalan Pale Arnold Road in San Roque when Kwon’s car rear-ended his vehicle.

Torres said that Kwon was on her cell phone and was behind Laurenaria’s vehicle when the accident happened.

The lawyer said Kwon was negligent, reckless, and careless and was not paying attention to her driving by using her cell phone while driving, failing to stop at a distance, and failing to keep a proper lookout, among other things.

The complaint did not indicate the plaintiff’s specific injuries and the extent of damage to his car.

Last June 1, a call to a 16-year-old female driver’s cell phone reportedly led to a collision involving a fuel tanker and two other vehicles along Chalan Pale Arnold Road at the Garapan-Gualo Rai boundary. Fortunately, no one suffered major injuries.

According to Department of Public Safety’s records, distracted driving, such as the use of cell phones and mixing betel nuts and other things while driving, accounts for many crashes in the CNMI.

In 2017, over 200 vehicular crashes were blamed on distracted driving.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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