Karen Hasting fights for justice after an alleged drunk driver kills her daughter
Driver pleads guilty; mom wants tougher penalty
Shannon Kettler, Shannon.Kettler@wcpo.com
4:19 AM, Jun 24, 2013
5:45 AM, Jun 25, 2013
CLEVES, Ohio - Since her daughter was killed in a crash, Karen Hasting has been calling for tougher punishment in aggravated vehicular homicide cases. Her daughter's killer pleaded guilty Monday, and Hasting wants longer sentences than current law allows.
Police said Dennis Alsip was under the influence of drugs and or alcohol at the time of the crash.
Alsip, 20, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated vehicular homicide. He is being held on $300,000 bond and faces sentencing Aug. 1.
Hasting can still see her daughter standing in the doorway of their Cleves home saying goodbye, not knowing it would be the last time she would hear her voice.
"She said, 'Bye, see you tonight!' She was on her way to work at 8 o'clock in the morning. Fifteen minutes later she was being flown to University Hospital with severe head trauma," Hasting said.
The 22-year-old emergency medical technician was driving on state Route 128 last July when her vehicle was hit head-on by Alsip, then 19.
Lisa Hasting, a Taylor High School graduate, spent two days in the hospital before she died from her injuries. Lisa's mom kept a bedside vigil and made her a promise before she passed away.
"I promised her I would do whatever I can to make him pay for this. 'You know, I pretty much hold up to my promises, Lisa.'" Hasting recalls saying to her daughter. "So I have to do this for her."
Hasting said under Ohio law, the sentence for aggravated vehicular homicide is two to eight years.
"Two to eight years, she's not going to walk in the door. Whatever he gets, he gets to go home and live but we live with this every day," said Hasting. "I sit here on the couch and wait for her to come down the steps or wait for her to come in the front door. I go in her room and she's just not there. And it's real. It's a nightmare that you live with every day."
Hasting has started a letter writing campaign to her representatives hoping to get the law changed but she has been disappointed in the lack of response.
"The law needs to be changed. I want to do what I can to change. I was told I need to contact my state representatives. Back in January, I've written 20 of them. So far as of today, I've only heard from two. The message it sends to me is that it's not important," Hasting said.
However, she is determined to make her voice heard and won't give up until there's a change.
"If I have to go to Columbus, if I have to go to Washington, I'd love to make it Lisa's law. Let her be proud of me like I am of her," Hasting said.