Driver pleads guilty in crash that killed Kettering teen

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – The driver accused of killing a Kettering teenager while intoxicated pleads guilty.

Austin Rife, 15, was killed August 8, 2013, after pushing a friend out of harm’s way. He was then apparently struck by a truck that drove 240 feet off the road toward a pond where the teenager and his family were fishing.

The teenager’s mother said she is relieved the trial for that driver, Brittany Raskowsky, 26, has continued. She hopes the punishment will fit the crime.

“I mean, three years is what she could be looking at for taking a life,” said Stephani Rife, the mother of Austin Rife. “I don’t think they’re harsh enough on the penalties of drinking and driving.”

It was during a family vacation in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, where Austin was killed. Court records show Raskowsky had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the state minimum at 0.212 percent.

Austin was struck by the truck after pushing his 6-year-old friend Logan out of danger. The teenager has received several awards from groups like the Kiwanis Club and Crime Stoppers for his selfless act.

His mother does not want his son’s death to be in vain.

For the past year, Stephani Rife has been working with groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Kettering Police Department. In May, an OVI checkpoint was held in Kettering in Austin’s honor.

Rife hopes her son’s memory will help people realize the dangers of drunk driving.

“Don’t drink and drive,” said Rife. “There’s cabs. There’s everything. There’s a way.”

Raskowsky is scheduled to be sentenced January 9th in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Rife said she plans to make the five hour trip back for that court date.

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