Oak Hill teen booked in last July's DUI crash on Maytown Road that took the life of his younger cousin

Photos for Headline Surfer / Austen Goodrich, now 18, of nearby Edgewater, has been charged in the DUI wreck that caused the death of his younger cousin, Cody Goodrich, 16, nine months ago after the older family member lost control of the vehicle shown flipped on its side.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

Oak Hill fatal crash / Headline SurferOAK HILL, Fla. -- An 18-year-old has been booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on DUI manslaughter charges in the July 24, 2013, horrific wreck on Maytown Road that took the life of his cousin.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Austen Goodrich on Monday afternoon after a warrant was issued charging him with DUI causing the death of his 16-year-old cousin, Cody Goodrich, who was pronounced dead at the scene, shortly before 9 p.m. on that hot summer night.

Austen Goodrich was behind the wheel of a 2005 Dodge Dakota, with three other teenage passengers on board. The truck was traveling on West Halifax Avenue when it sped over a set of railroad tracks when the driver careened over the road after flying over the railroad tracks.

Goodrich and another passenger were transported to the hospital for treatment of their injuries, but the driver’s 16-year-old cousin, Cody Goodrich, was already dead when emergency personnel arrived on the scene.

A fourth passenger, the only one wearing a seat belt, was able to crawl out of a window after the truck crashed and sustained relatively minor injuries -- such as bruises and cuts, a burn from the shoulder strap and an injured finger -- that didn’t require hospitalization.  

"The posted speed limit was 35 mph, and Sheriff’s deputies who reconstructed the crash scene determined that the truck was going approximately 51 mph at the time," Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson told Headline Surfer® just after noon today.

"Goodrich lost control of the vehicle when it hit the pavement and then over-corrected, causing the truck to skid sideways into a ditch and come to a rest on the passenger side after striking a plastic culvert," Davidson added. 

News of Goodrich's arrest saddened Oak Hill Mayor Douglas Gibson, a retired state trooper who has seen more than his share of death and destruction due to drinking and driving, especially among young drivers.

"They think they are invincible until something like this happens and it serves as a wake-up call that poor decisions can't bring back loved ones who die as a result," Gibson said, when informed of the arrest this afternoon by the 24./7 internet newspaper. "This is a tragedy for the entire city of Oak Hill," the mayor said. "They are local kids. One is dead and the other (in jail) has that reminder."

Oak Hill Mayor Doug Gibson / Headline SurferOak Hill Mayor Douglas Gibson reacts to the news of the arrest of Austen Goodrich stemming from the fatal DUI-related crash on Maytown Road that resulted in the on-scene death of Goodrich's younger cousin, Cody Goodrich, who was just 16 years old.

"They think they are invincible until something like this happens and it serves as a wake-up call that poor decisions can't bring back loved ones who die as a result," Gibson said, when informed of the arrest this afternoon by the 24./7 internet newspaper. 

"This is a tragedy for the entire city of Oak Hill," the mayor said. "They are local kids. One is dead and the other (in jail) has that reminder."

The other two passengers who survived the crash were 15 and 18 at the time.

Goodrich is presumed innocent until or unless adjudicated guilty in a court of law. If convicted of the felony charge, he could spend 15 years behind bars. 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.