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Texas woman gets probation, jail time for killing 2 sisters in distracted driving accident

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB / KRBC) – A Texas woman convicted of killing two sisters for using a fast food app while driving has been sentenced to probation and jail time.

Shelby Buchanan, of Abilene, received 10 years of probation and 360 days in county jail (two 180-day sentences in a row) on Tuesday for the deaths of Melissa Grace Lindley, 14, and Starla Lindley, 11, in 2018.

Earlier this year, Buchanan pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter.

Melissa and Starla were killed in a collision when Buchanan crashed into the back of their pickup while driving her pickup down I-20 in Abilene in March 2018.

A search warrant executed on Buchanan’s phone revealed that “at the time of the accident, Buchanan was actively using the Chick-fil-A app,” according to the documents.

Prosecutors argued that although Buchanan’s actions had no malicious intent, they were linked to indifference towards other lives. Court officials hope Buchanan’s sentence will set a precedent for other distracted driving charges, which are only expected to increase as technology continues to advance.

The girls’ families said in a statement, “We are relieved that this part of this terrible journey has come to an end, but our grief for our girls remains.” It’s not over and it never will. We miss Melissa Grace and Starla with every breath and always will. We beg drivers everywhere to put their phones away while driving. Please point out. Leave your phone alone when you’re on the road.”

In addition to the suspended sentence and jail time, Buchanan will also have to pay a $500 fine to cover court costs as well as restitution to his family, an amount to be determined by the probation department.

As a probationary condition, Buchanan must also complete 800 hours of community service.

https://kfor.com/news/texas-woman-gets-probation-jail-time-for-killing-2-sisters-in-distracted-driving-crash/ Texas woman gets probation, jail time for killing 2 sisters in distracted driving accident

JACLYN DIAZ

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