Teen who caused fatal texting-while-driving accident in jail for probation violations

PLATTE CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City, Mo., teen who avoided a four-year jail sentence because of the compassion of her victim's family is now in jail.

Rachel Gannon, 17, was texting behind the wheel when her car struck and killed 72-year-old Loretta Larimer last September on Northwest Skyview Avenue.

Larimer's 10-year-old granddaughter was in the backseat of her car, but her injuries were not life-threatening.

Gannon was sentenced in May to 48 hours in jail, 72 hours of house arrest, losing her driver's license -- and five years probation.

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She will now serve one year in the Platte County Jail after violating her probation.

Larimer's family told the judge Gannon had suffered enough and requested the light sentence in May.

"I was scared for her and her family," said Larimer's son, John. "Let's give her a second chance. We did not want to ruin a 16-year-old's life."

Four months later, Gannon lost that second chance.

Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said Gannon violated her probation in three different ways. Zahnd said Gannon moved in with her boyfriend, quit her job and hosted a party where she consumed and served alcohol to minors.

"I am amazed that this young woman who was given a second chance decided to blow it, and blow it so quickly," Zahnd said.

Through it all, Larimer's family said they cannot hate Gannon, even though they say she has wasted her second chance.

"Right now I'm feeling mostly frustration," John Larimer said.

Gannon is able to attend school while she's in jail.

The judge revoked her probation sentence for second-degree manslaughter, so Gannon could still serve up to four years in a state penitentiary. That could be decided as early as December.

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