Woman charged in fatal Austin crash pleads guilty

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by KVUE.com

kvue.com

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 7:23 PM

AUSTIN -- A woman charged in the death of a Texas State graduate pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Travis County courtroom.

Police say Madeline Rackley, 25, drove her Honda Civic into Lady Bird Lake early one morning in July 2012. She and passenger Danielle Martinez, 25, managed to escape. A passenger in the backseat, Jarrett Ryan Whittington, 25, was unable to get out of the car. He drowned at the scene.

Rackley was charged with intoxication manslaughter, but Wednesday she pleaded guilty to an amended charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Whittington's father requested the lowest possible sentence for Rackley, which was 10 days in jail, 200 hours of community service, and a suspended driver's license for two years. If Rackley violates those terms, she could get a two to 20-year sentence.

Whittington's family sued the Austin bar, Lustre Pearl, after the accident claiming a bartender there over-served Whittington.

In October the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission reached a resolution with Lustre Pearl regarding the suspension of the bar's liquor license following the fatal wreck.

According to the TABC, the Austin bar's license was ordered to be suspended for 45 days, or in lieu of suspension, the business had the option to pay a fine of $900 per day for a total of $40,500. If the fine is not paid, the permit will be suspended for 45 days beginning December 25, 2013.

Lustre Pearl told KVUE News they would opt to pay the fine.

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