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Man sentenced in crash that killed teenage girl

A Duluth man was sentenced to four years behind bars in a 2019 wreck that killed his passenger, according to authorities.

Austin Eugene Pappe, 24, was sentenced under the First Offender Act after a plea on first-degree vehicular homicide. Superior Court Judge Kathlene Gosselin imposed a 15-year sentence with the first four years in confinement.

Following the first four years, Pappe can serve the remainder on probation.

Taylor Beck, 16, of Duluth, suffered fatal injuries and died at the scene of the Jan. 17, 2019, wreck, which occurred after 4:30 p.m. on Holly Springs Road east of Oxford Road.

Georgia State Patrol previously told The Times Pappe was driving a 2008 Lexus IS 250 westbound on Holly Springs Road.

Pappe was trying to pass two other cars when he allegedly “lost control of the Lexus and traveled off of the roadway,” Allen wrote in an email.

The car struck several trees. Pappe and another passenger were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center with injuries.

Pappe was also charged in an August 2019 indictment with reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, too fast for condition and improper tires. These charges merged for sentencing purposes.

Under the First Offender Act, Pappe will have the case discharged “without court adjudication of guilt” if he completes the terms of the sentence.

Gosselin also ordered for Pappe to serve six months on private house arrest when released from custody and to continue mental health counseling.

“Taylor Beck’s death is a tragedy,” defense attorney Graham McKinnon said in a statement. “Austin and his family continue to mourn her needless death. This case has been tough because Austin meant her no harm. In fact, he was trying to help the family by giving her a ride when he wrecked. The consequences of our actions can be chilling.”

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