Distracted driving case: Driver who struck 3 pedestrians, killing 2, while using phone sentenced

Michael Grennan takes full responsibility

LOVELAND, Colo. - A Loveland driver who struck three people while he was on his cellphone -- killing two of them --  was sentenced Thursday to two years probation -- a sentence that the victims' families wanted.

Michael Grennan, 34, veered his Toyota pickup off the right side of 168th Avenue in Thornton and hit two men and a teenager walking on the side of the road on March 31, 2012.

Stephen Dabney, 33, and Seth Lewis, 22, died at the scene. Jarren Lewis, 14 at the time, was airlifted to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Lewis, who has since recovered, spoke at Grennan's sentencing Thursday, saying he wishes the best for him and arguing that Grennan doesn't deserve jail time.

"I wish none of this would have happened," Lewis said, bringing the courtroom to tears.

Carla Dabey, Stephan Dabney's wife said, "This past year has been hell on all of us. We lost two of the most amazing men the world had to offer."

She, too, offered forgiveness for Grennan, saying that she doesn't feel jail is appropriate for him.

"I take full responsibility for what happened," Grennan said in court Thursday.

Grennan's attorney said that the cell phone rang while it was in Grennan's lap while he was driving. The attorney said Grennan swiped to ignore it and when he looked up, it was too late.

Grennan pleaded guilty to careless driving resulting in death, careless driving resulting in injury and having no insurance.

On Thursday, the judge had given him a one-year suspended sentence, two years probation, and 300 hours of community service.

Grennan's attorney admitted Grennan showed up intoxicated at the pre-sentence investigation. He said Grennan was self-medicating after the crash.

The District Attorney's office also revealed that Grennan had been cited for careless driving 10 days before the accident.

A check of state records shows that Grennan was charged with DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired) and possession of a controlled substance in Larimer County in 2003. Those charges were dismissed.

In early 2012, Grennan was charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

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