Family frustrated with killer texter after probation violations - CBS46 News

Victim's family frustrated with killer texter after numerous probation violations

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Loretta Larimer, center, was killed in Sept. 2011 when the car she was driving was struck by a teen who was texting and driving. Loretta Larimer, center, was killed in Sept. 2011 when the car she was driving was struck by a teen who was texting and driving.
Loretta's son, John Larimer, said he and his family originally wanted leniency for the teen charged with his mother's death. But her consistent probation violations have caused him to change his mind. Loretta's son, John Larimer, said he and his family originally wanted leniency for the teen charged with his mother's death. But her consistent probation violations have caused him to change his mind.
Rachel Gannon was charged with assault, involuntary manslaughter and texting and driving while under the age of 21 for a September 2011 deadly crash in Platte County. Rachel Gannon was charged with assault, involuntary manslaughter and texting and driving while under the age of 21 for a September 2011 deadly crash in Platte County.
PLATTE CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A teen who was texting and driving when she struck the vehicle of another driver and killed her may be headed to prison for violating her probation over and over again.

After being delayed last week, a judge was expected to make a decision Thursday about Rachel Gannon's fate. She was charged with assault, involuntary manslaughter and texting and driving while under the age of 21 for a September 2011 deadly crash in Platte County.

The family of the victim, 72-year-old Loretta Larimer, have been vocal about the crash and the consequences of texting while driving. The crash also injured the woman's granddaughter.

One son is saying the loss of his mother is not being taken seriously, and he's frustrated with the lack of respect for the law.

John Larimer beams when he talks about his mother and said he and her family wanted Gannon to get a second chance to succeed. Instead, he says, Gannon showed she does not care that she took someone's life.

When a tearful Gannon appeared in court in September 2012, she apologized for violating her probation. The appearance was only four months after she was put on probation for killing Loretta Larimer while texting and driving.

Loretta Larimer's family said Gannon did not learn her lesson.

"Another violation. I believe she missed a few classes and was at Dairy Queen, which was right near the high school," John Larimer said.

Gannon was sentenced to five years of probation for the involuntary manslaughter and assault charges with the following special conditions: Serve 48 hours in jail, complete 72 days of electronically-monitored house arrest, perform 30 hours of community service or employment per week for 10 weeks during the summer; and not possess a driver's license until she graduates high school. She was sentenced to the maximum penalty of a $200 fine for texting while driving.

Gannon admitted during the appearance that she violated her probation by moving in with a boyfriend on her 17th birthday, quitting her job and drinking alcohol.

"There are so many [violations] that I started to lose track of, not only the probation violations, but all the chances she has squandered," John Larimer said.

He said a few short months after Gannon received probation, she threw a party for other teens where they drank alcohol.

"Less than one mile down the road from where my mother was killed," he said.

John Larimer said he and his family originally wanted leniency for the teenager, an opportunity to offer her a second chance at a successful life.

"[It's] a little forgiveness. Something good could come out of this. It's a wake-up call. You've got a second chance. You can be successful," he said.

He said he agreed with the original lenient sentence because he wanted Gannon to learn from the incident, but now he struggles to remain positive.

"Here I am talking positive, but let me tell you something, it has been pretty damn depressing at times," John Larimer said.

A judge will decide Gannon's fate on the felony charge against her. Her court hearing has been  re-scheduled to July 3 at the request of the judge. The judge could decide to revoke her probation and send her to prison.

"You have some non-caring people. You can't fix that, so we have to move on to help the younger drivers that want help," John Larimer said.

He will share his mother's story with anyone that will listen in hopes that it will keep another person from texting and driving. John Larimer is asking for schools to teach the dangers of it in class and said education is the key to preventing more deaths.

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