Lori Hoefs was talking to a friend on the phone at the time of the 2016 crash

By Chris Harris
April 16, 2019 02:16 PM
Lori J. Hoefs
Dakota County Sheriff's Office

Last Friday, a Minnesota woman learned she’ll have to visit the grave of the 78-year-old woman she killed three years ago in a car crash caused because she was distracted while talking on the phone.

PEOPLE confirms that Lori Hoefs, 57, of Oronoco, agreed to a plea deal last fall after being arrested in June 2018 for her role in the fatal accident in Hampton.

While talking to her friend on the phone, Hoefs caused a crash that killed Brenda Travis and seriously injured her brother, Glen Travis.

Hoefs had been facing prison time after being charged with felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation, but in the fall, she agreed to plead to the lesser charges of gross misdemeanor reckless driving and misdemeanor careless driving, the Star Tribune reports.

The paper reports that Judge Jerome Abrams sent Hoefs to jail for six months, which will be followed by two years of probation. He also ordered her to visit Travis’ grave twice.

She must also perform 30 hours of community service, including giving public speeches on distracted driving, and also must attend a driving improvement clinic. She was also fined $1,429.

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Glen Travis, who suffered rib fractures and a broken pelvis, told the Star Tribune last fall his family had agreed to the terms of the plea deal.

He said he didn’t want the sentence to cost Hoefs her nursing license; she has worked as a nurse for over 35 years.

Hoefs admitted to police after the crash she had been on the phone when the crash occurred.

She failed to heed signs advising her a stop was up ahead, and her SUV plowed into the passenger side of the Travis’ car.

Brenda Travis was a retired teacher who’d taught business for 32 years through the Department of Defense Overseas Dependent Schools in Germany, Turkey, Morocco, Japan and the Philippines.

Hoefs could not be reached for comment.