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Judge orders Minnesota driver to visit grave of woman she killed while talking on phone

Lori Janine Hoefs

HASTINGS, Minn. — An Oronoco woman will serve six months in jail for a distracted driving crash in rural Dakota County that killed one and injured three in 2016. She will also have to visit the grave of the woman who died, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Lori Janine Hoefs, 57, was sentenced Friday, April 12, after pleading guilty last November to one count each of reckless driving that caused a death and caused great bodily harm and two counts of careless driving. She admitted to being on her cellphone when she ran a stop sign, killing 78-year-old Brenda Travis, of Rochester.

With regard to the reckless driving convictions, Hoefs was placed on probation for up to two years and sentenced to 180 days in jail.

In addition, she is to attend a driving improvement clinic, perform 30 hours of community service, pay a $1,000 fine and visit Travis’ grave once each year of probation.

With regard to the careless driving convictions, Hoefs was sentenced to 90 days in jail, to be served concurrently.

Hoefs’ sentencing came the same day Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill that requires motorists to use “hands-free” phones while driving on Minnesota roads effective Aug. 1.