Family seeks justice after grandfather dies helping stranded grandson

PARKVILLE, Mo - The family of the man killed while helping his grandson with his car on the highway hopes their message will make at least one person think twice before driving under the influence.

Donald Rippy was known was a man who went out of his way to help people; so it wasn't a surprise to Linda Gudde, his sister-in-law, when she heard he had gone to help his 17-year-old grandson Monday night after his car overheated.

Both were seated inside Rippy's car on the shoulder of Missouri highway 152 near I-435 in Platte County when an SUV slammed into the car.

The driver of the SUV could face several charges including driving under the influence of drugs.

Linda Gudde went back to the crash site two days after the crash. She found the sun visor from Rippy's car and the American flag he always kept inside.

She says they aren't vindictive people, but if the driver was under the influence, something has to be done to keep this from happening again.

"He made a poor choice," Gudde said, "a bad decision and he's destroyed my family, my sister's family, but he has a family too and so the devastation to the lives that are involved in this is irreparable."

The 64-year- old died at the hospital; his grandson only had minor injuries.

Rippy was to retire as a welder in January; something both he and his wife were looking forward to after 47 years of marriage.

The family has a service planned for Saturday, Feb. 15 at Northland Chapel in Gladstone.

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