Jul 28, 2014
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7 Years in Prison for Teen in Fatal Texting and Driving

Joseph Brynda, 20, was high on marijuana and freon when he drove his car into a man walking to the train station in 2009.

7 Years in Prison for Teen in Fatal Texting and Driving

A man — who killed a pedestrian as he was doped up on pot and freon and texting while steering his car with his knees — was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday.

Joseph Brynda, 20, of Oak Lawn, pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI.

On Nov. 9, 2009, Brynda’s 2008 Saturn hit the pedestrian, a stoplight and another care at 183rd Street and 80th Avenue in Tinley Park.

A witness in the car told the young man was texting as he drove and "driving with his knees."

Philip Rangel, 60, of Blue Island, was killed. He was walking to the 80th Avenue Metra station to catch a ride home from work.

Sun-Times Media reported on his prior criminal record:

Will County court records show that before the crash, Brynda, who had a Frankfort Square address at the time, had been cited eight times for driving offenses including speeding, disobeying traffic signals and failing to yield to emergency vehicles. He also was involved in at least one accident with injuries, according to the Illinois secretary of state’s office.

Brynda also was charged in 2008 with drinking alcohol as a minor, and in 2009 was charged with possession of marijuana and drug equipment, records show.

At the time of the accident, Brynda was 18 and living in Frankfort Square.

On Nov. 13, 2010, Brynda, then 19, was arrested and charged with felony burglary from a car. said .

After that arrest, a judge revoked his bail.

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