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Woman given probation in fatal crash that killed officer

Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Sergeant Peggy Vassallo.

CLAYTON, Mo. – A St. Louis woman was sentenced to two years of probation after a wreck that killed a Bellefontaine Neighbors police sergeant in 2015.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 36-year-old Latonia Waites pleaded guilty to careless and imprudent driving in the death of 53-year-old Sgt. Peggy Vassallo. Waites was originally charged with second-degree involuntary manslaughter.

Waites struck Vassallo, a 15-year police veteran, in August 2015. Investigators say Waites was distracted by her cellphone.

Police say Vassallo had been involved in a collision and was outside her car summoning an ambulance for the other driver when Waites swerved around stopped vehicles and hit the sergeant.

Waites would face a one-year jail sentence if she does not complete her probation.

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