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Mother convicted in highway crash that killed her son

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — A woman who was speeding before a crash that killed her 10-year-old son has been convicted of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle in Outagamie County Circuit Court.

Crystal Draheim pleaded no contest to the charge Tuesday. A reckless driving charge was dismissed in exchange for the plea, WLUK-TV reported.

Prosecutors said the 34-year-old Kaukauna mother was driving 86 mph in a 55 mph speed zone seconds before the May 2019 crash that killed Noah Taylor.

According to the criminal complaint, traffic was backed up on Highway 15 in the town of Ellington as motorists waited for a truck to turn left. Draheim’s vehicle crashed into a pickup truck before being deflected head-on into a school bus. Taylor, who was in the backseat, was killed.

No students were on the school bus.

Prosecutors and the defense will make a joint recommendation for probation, according to the terms of the plea deal. The maximum sentence would 10 years in prison, including five years of initial confinement.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 1.

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