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Teen who drove 106 mph, used Snapchat in crash that killed friend is going to prison

Cristina Pavon-Baker pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless driving after she crashed her car into a tree on 'senior skip day,' killing friend Makayla Penn. Prosecutors say she was on Snapchat while driving and traveling at 106 mph.
Cristina Pavon-Baker pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and reckless driving after she crashed her car into a tree on 'senior skip day,' killing friend Makayla Penn. Prosecutors say she was on Snapchat while driving and traveling at 106 mph. WSB-TV/BROADCAST SCREEN GRAB

A Georgia teenager involved in a car crash that killed her friend was sentenced to prison Monday after pleading guilty to multiple charges.

A trial was set to begin for Cristina Pavon-Baker, who prosecutors said was driving 106 mph and using Snapchat when she crashed her Mini Cooper in March 2018, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Prosecutors said her car flipped several times before it slammed into a tree, according to The Henry Herald. Pavon-Baker’s friend, 18-year-old Makayla Penn, was entrapped in the wreck and declared dead on scene, WXIA reported.

The crash happened on senior skip day, as Pavon-Baker was headed to a shopping mall and began racing another student from Community Christian School, where she and Penn were students, prosecutors said in a WSB report.

Jury selection was set to begin in her trial when Pavon-Baker pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Pavon-Baker, who was 17 at the time of the crash, was sentenced to a 15-year prison sentence, WXIA reported. But she will only be required to serve three years behind bars in the Clayton County Jail, before finishing the term on probation, according to the TV station.

She also has to “serve 5,000 hours of community service,” including 100 of them discussing reckless driving with kids, WSB said.

“I just want to apologize and I do accept full responsibility,” Pavon-Baker said after pleading guilty, the TV station reported. “And I really want to express from the bottom of my heart how truly sorry I am.”

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.


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