Woman sentenced to 10 days in jail for deadly crash

Woman sentenced to 10 days in jail for deadly crash

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  • Woman sentenced to 10 days in jail for deadly crashMore>>

  • Attorneys try to cut plea deal for accused drunk driver

    Attorneys try to cut plea deal for accused drunk driver

    Thursday, October 10 2013 4:14 PM EDT2013-10-10 20:14:30 GMT
    Defense attorneys are trying to cut a plea deal for an accused drunk driver, who according to prosecutors caused the death of one of her passengers after driving into Lady Bird Lake. Madeline Rackley
    Defense attorneys are trying to cut a plea deal for an accused drunk driver, who according to prosecutors caused the death of one of her passengers after driving into Lady Bird Lake. Madeline Rackley
  • TABC fines Lustre Pearl over $40,000

    TABC fines Lustre Pearl over $40,000

    Wednesday, October 9 2013 10:48 PM EDT2013-10-10 02:48:04 GMT
    The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has fined the Rainey Street bar Lustre Pearl over $40,000 in connection to the death of 25-year-old Ryan Whttington.
    The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has fined the Rainey Street bar Lustre Pearl over $40,000 in connection to the death of 25-year-old Ryan Whttington.
  • Family sues Austin bar for fatal drunk driving crash

    Family sues Austin bar for fatal drunk driving crash

    Tuesday, June 4 2013 10:55 PM EDT2013-06-05 02:55:29 GMT
    A Corpus Christi family says its Lustre Pearl's fault that their son was killed in an accident. The family claims bartenders over served their son's friend and now the family is suing for more than $1
    A Corpus Christi family says its Lustre Pearl's fault that their son was killed in an accident. The family claims bartenders over served their son's friend and now the family is suing for more than $1
  • Alleged drunk driver gets court-ordered ignition interlock device

    Alleged drunk driver gets court-ordered ignition interlock device

    Tuesday, July 3 2012 11:16 PM EDT2012-07-04 03:16:48 GMT
    The woman charged with intoxication manslaughter after she drove her car into Lady Bird Lake and killing a passenger, has been ordered to have a breathalyzer device with a camera installed in her vehicle. This
    The woman charged with intoxication manslaughter after she drove her car into Lady Bird Lake and killing a passenger, has been ordered to have a breathalyzer device with a camera installed in her vehicle. This
  • Suspect in manslaughter case had previous DWI

    Suspect in manslaughter case had previous DWI

    Monday, July 2 2012 6:15 PM EDT2012-07-02 22:15:48 GMT
    Austin police say a woman charged with intoxication manslaughter following a deadly crash into Lady Bird Lake had a previous DWI conviction.
    Austin police say a woman charged with intoxication manslaughter following a deadly crash into Lady Bird Lake had a previous DWI conviction.
  • Car Drives into Lady Bird Lake, Killing One

    Car Drives into Lady Bird Lake, Killing One

    Monday, July 2 2012 3:46 PM EDT2012-07-02 19:46:53 GMT
    A woman was arrested Sunday morning after police say she drove into Lady Bird Lake in the early morning hours killing a passenger in her car.
    A woman was arrested Sunday morning after police say she drove into Lady Bird Lake in the early morning hours killing a passenger in her car.

In a Travis County courtroom Wednesday, 27-year-old Madeline Rackley cried as she prepared to approach a judge and agree to a plea deal negotiated by her attorneys and the district attorney's office. Rackley was initially charged with intoxication manslaughter for the death of Ryan Whittington, but instead pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony.

As part of the deal, Rackley was sentenced to 10 years of differed adjudication, a type of probation, and 200 hours of community service. Her driver's license will be taken away for two years and she will have to get an ignition interlock device installed in her vehicle for half her probation sentence. She will serve just 10 days in jail.

 

"My clients have said from the beginning, what they wanted was the least amount of punishment that would do Madeline Rackley the most good," said Kathryn Snapka, an attorney representing the Whittington family.

In July 2012, Austin police say Rackley was drunk when she drove her car into Lady Bird Lake. Officers who were near by were able to pull Rackley and a passenger out of the water, but her other passenger, 25-year-old Whittington, died. According to attorneys, Rackley had been drinking at Rainey Street bar, Lustre Pearl, before she got behind the wheel.

"Both Ryan and Madeline were overserved and the TABC agreement that Lustre Pearl entered into really reflected the overservice of their patrons," Snapka told reporters.

Lustre Pear will have to pay a $40,000 fine or face a 45-day suspension of their liquor license. The Whittington family has also filed a lawsuit against the bar, the owners and the bartenders who served Rackley and Whittington that night.

This was not Rackley's first DWI offense. SHe was also convicted of DWI in 2010. Even so, at her hearing, Whittington's family expressed forgiveness and compassion. They know that no punishment can bring back Ryan. "The loss of their oldest child and only son has absolutely devastated the Whittington family. It's a tragedy they're not ever going to get over."

The lawsuit against Lustre Pearl is expected to go to trial in early 2014.

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