N4T Investigators: Release and Repeat? - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: Release and Repeat?

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ORO VALLEY - A woman is still driving after causing a fatal crash, then running into a school bus while on probation.

Barbara Applebaum was struck at Oracle Road and La Reserve Drive on April 17, 2016. She survived that day, but her mother, Arlene Applebaum Ozburn, said her daughter’s fight was just starting.

“She got worse and worse, then she got better,” Ozburn said, “and then she got worse and worse. And it was a living hell. I wouldn't wish the whole experience on anybody.”

Barbara Applebaum died of complications from the crash on September 3, 2016.

Because of the injury, the other driver was given a criminal citation and sentenced to 12 months of probation. Probation required her to not break the law, or she could be resentenced with a harsher penalty.

That driver was cited for a collision with a school bus on February 17, 2017.

“There's gotta be some consequence,” Ozburn said. “People should have to pay consequences for the actions.

She went to traffic school.

“What good is putting somebody on probation if you don't do anything about it?” Ozburn asked.

Oro Valley prosecutor Troy Simon filed a petition to revoke the woman’s probation, so she could be given a harsher sentence. He argued the defendant broke the law when she was given the civil citation for the school bus collision. Judges repeatedly denied his requests.

James Charnesky is a DUI attorney who has fought many cases in that Oro Valley Court.

“That's pretty aggressive. That's as much as a prosecutor can possibly do,” Charnesky said.

He said the judges were not being soft on the defendant.

“The judges have to follow the law,” Charnesky said. “And you can't just go off and violate people's probation for civil violations.”

He does not think the law needs to be changed.

“Let’s say you’re on probation for shoplifting, and you go out and you get a ticket, a speeding ticket,” Charnesky said. “A speeding ticket, technically it's against the law to speed, but it's civil. Do you think you should have your probation violated because you got into a speeding ticket? That seems to be a bit unreasonable.”

Simon said he wanted to do an interview on this case, but rules and regulations prevented him from commenting further. He said it is a problem that would likely have to be addressed with the state legislature.

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