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Woman sentenced in hit-and-run crash that killed WWII veteran

A judge sentenced her to four years’ probation and she'll have to spend every weekend behind bars for the next four years.

ST. LOUIS — A woman was sentenced this week in a hit-and-run crash that killed a World War II veteran in Nashville, Illinois, in January 2018.

Caitlin Happach pleaded guilty to that hit and run. A judge sentenced her to four years’ probation and jail time. She'll have to spend every weekend behind bars for the next four years.

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"She's gotta check into the Washington County Jail every single Friday night at 7 p.m. and she's there till 7 p.m. Sunday night,” Dan Tomasello, a grandson of the victims, said.  

His grandparents, Ervin and Patricia Goeden, were driving from Omaha, Nebraska, to Florida with their son when Happach hit them. The impact sent their car off the road and into a tree.

Ervin, a World War II veteran, was killed. Patricia was badly injured. She survived the wreck, but died later that year, days after she met her first great-grandchild.

"You never came forward,” Tomasello said, and for that, he doesn’t think the punishment is enough.

He wants Happach to know about the lives she's impacted, especially his grandfather, who devoted his life to service.

"To give you the freedoms that you have and you're the one that's responsible and you left him on that highway to die,” Tomasello said.

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