Busted: wrong woman ticketed

(2-24-10 Update) - It now appears a traffic ticket mix-up is resolved.

The $85 citation mistakenly issued to Connie Buckallew of Queen City has been officially dropped.

That item was taken care of this (Wednesday) morning, said Sergeant Bill Bowman of the St. Peters Police Department in a voicemail left on Buckallew TMs cell phone. Don TMt worry about it. It TMs all taken care of. I TMll try to get you some sort of documentation in the next day or two, Bowman TMs voicemail continued.

Buckallew had received the ticket in the mail over the weekend. It accused her of running a red light in St. Peters, Missouri, when in fact it wasn't her car and it wasn't her driving.

The violation was captured by a red light photo enforcement camera on January 17, 2010.

After phone calls to several agencies and help from KTVO, Major Mike Townsend of the St. Peters Police Department admitted that his department clearly made a mistake and is working to resolve it.

Townsend told KTVO in an e-mail Wednesday, "This was a unique event and one that we will learn from."

The problem goes even deeper. The car in question is still registered to Connie Buckallew even though it's owned by a woman who lives in the St. Louis area.

Buckallew previously owned the car shown in the photos that she received in the mail with her "Notice of Violation and Summons." She traded in the Pontiac Grand Prix at a Columbia car dealership about a year ago.

She now drives a Toyota SUV.

KTVO contacted the Department of Revenue Tuesday to inform them about the problem. Following is the e-mail that KTVO received Wednesday afternoon from the Missouri Department of Revenue, which explains that a clerical error is to blame:

I just got word from the Motor Vehicle Division that the source of the error was found. A clerical error was made within the Department of Revenue. When the new owner applied for a new registration (license plate) for the vehicle, it was mistakenly applied to the OLD title for the car, which was in Ms. Buckallew TMs name. So, when the red-light camera spotted the new license plate number PG4H6Y, the record check made by St. Peters associated the license plate with Ms. Buckallew instead of the new owner. The error has been corrected.The head of our Motor Vehicle Division has offered to make any phone calls or send any paperwork to the City of St. Peters if the city needs any proof or documentation to resolve this case. We also apologize to Ms. Buckallew for any inconvenience, wrote Ted Farnen, Director of Communications for the Missouri Department of Revenue, in an e-mail to KTVO Television.

(2-23-10 Update) - Here TMs a follow-up now to a traffic ticket debacle we told you about Monday night.

Connie Buckallew of Queen City received an $85 traffic ticket in the mail Saturday morning.

It was from the City of St. Peters, Missouri stating that she had run a red light on January 17, 2010, and the offense was captured on a red light photo enforcement camera.

The Pontiac Grand Prix in the pictures is not Buckallew's, and it's clearly not Buckallew pictured in the driver's seat.

Through our investigation, we've now learned that Buckallew owned the Grand Prix about a year ago before she traded it in at a Columbia car dealership.

Buckallew checked with Joe Machens Toyota to see who bought her former car.

A spokesman told her he could not answer that question because the vehicle had been sold at auction, and he didn TMt know who purchased it.

Apparently there was some mix-up with the vehicle registration at the Missouri Department of Revenue, and even though the car is now owned by someone in the St. Louis area, it's still registered to Connie Buckallew.

"The picture|is clearly not me, and they could have found that out because they had my driver's license on there, and could have brought it up and saw that the picture was not me, so I was a little bit furious," said Buckallew.

When we originally did this story Monday, it was believed the person who ran the red light was another Connie Buckallew.

It turns out that's not the case. Buckallew's name apparently appears on the registration with the other woman's St. Peters address.

The woman who now owns the car is believed to be Kristabelle Rowland, who now lives in O TMFallon.

Officials from the St. Peters Police Department and the Department of Revenue are still trying to sort it all out.

I am having the staff of the department TMs Motor Vehicle Division looking into the issue, and I will get the results back to you as soon as possible, said Ted Farnen, DOR Director of Communications told KTVO in an e-mail Tuesday afternoon.

Our phone call to Major Mike Townsend at the St. Peters Police Department was not returned.

On Tuesday, she contacted State Representative Brian Munzlinger TMs office about her situation.

The secretary told her Munzlinger would try to get to the bottom of things for Buckallew.

(Original story from 2-22-10) - A northeast Missouri woman got a shocking surprise in the mail Saturday morning.

Connie Buckallew of Queen City received an $85 traffic ticket for running a red light in St. Peters, Missouri.

The problem is the ticket should have been issued to a different Connie Buckallew, one who lives in St. Peters.

The ticket came from the City of St. Peters Red Light Photo Enforcement Program.

The Connie Buckallew from Queen City drives a Toyota SUV, not a Pontiac Grand Prix as shown in the photos she received in the mail.

"it's not my car, it's not me driving it. On January 17, I was here. I don't own a Grand Prix. I don't have those driver's plates that are on that vehicle," said Buckallew.

The photos also show a close-up of the driver, who clearly isn TMt the Connie Buckallew from Queen City.

Buckallew says the ticket itself contains the address of the other Connie Buckallew who lives in St. Peters.

She's not sure how authorities got her Queen City address to put on the envelope.

Buckallew told KTVO she spent the day on the phone Monday trying to straighten out this mess, but so far she hasn't had much luck.