16-year-old Kansas City girl pleads guilty in fatal texting-while-driving crash

LIBERTY, Mo. - A Kansas City teenager pleaded guilty Thursday to charges in a fatal crash that happened when she was texting.

Rachel N. Gannon, 16, will serve 48 hours of "shock time" in the Platte County Jail starting Sunday and 72 hours of house arrest.

Gannon was behind the wheel in September 2011 when she started texting near NW Skyview Road and Interstate 435 in Kansas City, prosecutors alleged in charging documents earlier this year.

She ran off the road, overcorrected, and struck a car that had seen Gannon's swerving vehicle and pulled over to the side of the road, the documents said.

The driver of the other vehicle, Loretta J. Larimer, was pronounced dead at the hospital. Larimer's adult children Paula and John Larimer say they did not want Gannon to be sent to prison and they accept the terms of the plea agreement.

"I didn't want to see this young girl go to prison or anything like that," John Larimer said.

Gannon apologized to the Larimer family during the court proceeding and said she thought about Loretta everyday.

"From the bottom of my heart I am sorry," Gannon said during her sentencing. "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about Loretta."

She was also given five years probation, ordered to 300 hours of public service or employment over the summer, and will lose her license until she graduates from high school.
 

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