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Texting granny-killer teen jailed

2013-07-11 11:04

IF SHE FELT REMORSE SHE WOULD’VE SERVED OUT HER PUNISHMENT: Teenager Rachel Gannon (left) showed remorse for killing Loretta Larimer by repeatedly violating her parole. Image: Facebook

A teenage girl who caused a fatal car crash in 2011 has been jailed for 42 months for repeatedly violating her parole. Rachel Gannon (16 at the time) was texting at the wheel when she crashed and Loretta Larimer (72) died.

Gannon was sending text messages when she lost control of a neighbour's Honda Pilot on September 11 2011 and collided with Larimer’s Nissan Altima. The elderly lady later died of her injuries.


Gannon was initially placed on parole but it was revoked because of later violations. She told police she had been looking at her mobile and texting before the crash. She admitted she veered off the road, swerved back and collided head-on with Larimer's car.

The granny had to be cut out of the wreck. She was taken to a hospital but later died. Her granddaughter (10) was in the back seat but suffered only a chipped arm bone, an injured neck and bruising. She survived the crash.

On May 31 2012 Gannon pleaded guilty to second-degree involuntary manslaughter, third-degree assault and violating a 2009 Missouri law that prohibits drivers under 21 from texting while driving.


The judge suspended Gannon’s sentence and placed her on probation for five years, according to the Kansas City Star. She was ordered to serve 48 hours "shock time" in the county jail, find a job, serve 72 days of house arrest and perform 300 hours of community service.

Within a month Gannon had violated her probation, moved in with her boyfriend, quit her job and got drunk at a party.


In September 2012 she was sentenced to a year in prison but was allowed to attend school and a tutoring programme and report to jail provided she returned 30 minutes after each activity.

She allegedly skipped 31 of the scheduled tutorials and was spotted at a cafe instead of attending a class.

In July 2013 a judge revoked her probation.

Gannon’s mother, Becky Tweeddale, said: "This is devastating. It wasn’t what I had hoped for, we want her home."

A defence lawyer said "she was just being a typical teen" while her mother testified that Gannon's grade average improved from an F to an A.

John Larimer, whose mother died in the wreck, said: “This is a sad and tragic day. Here’s a young life that is damaged further. What was Judge (Abe) Shafer going to do? Rachel put him in a position where he had no room to work with.”

Read more on:    usa  |  driving  |  texting  |  teen

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