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Driver who struck three children fined $1,000

DOVER — A Somersworth driver, moments before she struck three school children in a crosswalk, was sending email on her cell phone and turning down the volume on her radio, a prosecutor said.

Tiana Conlon, 35, of 15 Spruce St., was fined $1,000 and lost her license for 30 days after she was found guilty in Dover District Court of negligent driving and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, both violations.

Conlon pleaded &#';no contest&#'; to the offenses.

She was driving her Honda Element toward town on Jan. 10 when three of the four Wilson siblings, Alyssa, 16, Zach, 14, and Caleb, 10, were crossing Portland Street to the school bus stop at 6:48 a.m.

Less than two minutes earlier, Conlon responded to an email on her BlackBerry, and moments before, she looked away to turn down the volume on her radio, Dover Police Prosecutor Brian Estee said in court this morning.

In that moment, Conlon struck the children as they were walking in the crosswalk at Rogers Street, sending all three to the hospital with injuries, none considered serious.

On Monday, Conlon declined to comment to the media, but she apologized to the children's father multiple times in the hallway outside the courtroom while sobbing loudly.

The children's mother, Lori Wilson, said she was glad the maximum penalty was imposed against Conlon, and said she has not ruled out a civil suit. Her boyfriend, Matt Weeden, said they have also been talking with local legislators about strengthening the state's texting and driving laws.

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