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Diversion agreement given to driver in fatal texting while driving crash

WHITEHALL, WI (WTAQ) - A driver in western Wisconsin might not spend any time behind bars for illegally texting just before his vehicle killed an elderly pedestrian.  

41-year-old Timothy Peterson, who now lives in Red Wing Minnesota, was given a diversion agreement by a Trempealeau County judge. If he meets certain conditions, he will not have to spend time behind bars after he pleaded no contest to a felony count of negligent homicide.  

Investigators found that Peterson was texting on his cellphone just two minutes before his vehicle struck and killed 86-year-old Cecelia Killian in January of last year. She was crossing a street in Independence, where Peterson was living at the time.  

Circuit Judge John Damon imposed a five-year diversion agreement in which he must perform 200 hours of community service. He must spend half that time talking to teens about the dangers of texting and driving -- which in and of itself is against state law.  

Killian's family said the diversion agreement was okay with them. They said a prison sentence would only hurt another family.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)