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Missouri Distracted Driving Teen Charged with Manslaughter

16-year-old Distracted Driver Charged with Manslaughter

A 16-year-old Missouri girl was recently charged with manslaughter for causing a car accident that killed a grandmother and injured her 10-year-old granddaughter. Loretta Larima, 72, was killed when Rachel Gannan lost control of her car and crashed into Ms. Larima and her granddaughter while using her cell phone last September in Kansas City.

According to a 15-year-old passenger in Gannan’s car, Gannan was texting and listening to loud music when she lost control of the vehicle.

Missouri enacted a law in 2009 that makes it illegal for anyone under 21 to text while driving. Most drivers who break the law face a $200 fine. Gannan, who will stand trial as an adult, faces a second-degree manslaughter charge that could bring four years in prison. She also faces a third-degree assault charge for the injuries sustained by Ms. Larima’s granddaughter.

Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, who brought the case against Grannan, is now looking to pass a law banning all texting while driving. “We know from many different research studies that texting while driving is at least as dangerous as driving while drunk, and may be even more dangerous,” Zahnd told a local news outlet. “For that reason, I believe it should be illegal for anyone to text while they are driving.”

This is a truly heartbreaking story, and shows just how dangerous distracted driving can be. So many lives have been affected because of this incident. Not only was this young girl texting and listening to loud music, she had a young passenger in the car with her. All of these things are incredibly distracting for any driver, especially for a new driver. This is part of the reason Georgia has such strict laws for new drivers regarding cell phone use and passengers allowed in the car.

Click here to learn 4 Great Tips to Stop Texting and Driving.

Be informed. Be aware. Be prepared.

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