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Little Falls teen on probation for crash that killed 2 people

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A Little Falls teenager who pleaded guilty to texting while driving before crashing into a van, killing two people, has been sentenced to probation.

The sentencing requires the 17-year-old to be on probation until she's 21, the St. Cloud Times reports. She'll also have to complete a long-term residential program, she won't be able to consume alcohol or operate any vehicle until then either.

The paper says the teen will also need to serve 240 hours of community service, some of which will require her to deliver speeches on the effects of distracted driving.

If the teen doesn't comply with the juvenile sentence, she could be given a harsher punishment. The judge ruled that she will have to serve the adult sentence of 69 months in prison if she doesn't cooperate with the juvenile sentencing.

The crashed happened July 21 on Highway 10 in Sherburne County. Prosecutors say the teen – who didn't have a valid license – was driving a pickup truck carrying three other people. The 17-year-old ignored her friends' pleas to stop texting, ran a red light and crashed into a van, officials say.

The collision killed Charles Maurer, 54, and his 10-year-old daughter, Cassy Maurer. Maurer's other daughter and her friend were injured in the crash.

Charles Maurer was pronounced death that evening, Cassy died several days later due to injuries.

During the initial investigation, the driver of the truck was identified as an 18-year-old Little Falls man – the only one in the truck with a valid license. But the petition says searches concluded the girl was actually behind the wheel.

She was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide, two counts of criminal vehicular operation, use of a wireless communications device and driving without a license.

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