WSU students remember classmate killed in hit and run - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

WSU students remember classmate killed in hit and run

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC)-- A small group of Winona State University students and faculty came together Wednesday night to remember Austin Melville, their 23-year-old classmate who was hit and killed by a drunk driver last November.

As part of her senior capstone project for her Mass. Communication major, Amanda Rehrauer put together a 45 minute video on the life and death of her classmate Austin.

"Anything we can do to remember him, we're gonna try," said Rehrauer Wednesday night.

Melville's parents were also on hand for the showing of the video, which looks into how serious of a problem drunk driving is in Minnesota. Austin, a Rochester native was run down by Christopher Trautman as he was trying to cross a busy street in downtown Rochester. Trautman hit three other people before police caught him and officials say his blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit.

"This is something that didn't have to happen and it did," says Austin's father Hilary.

As ironic as it may sound just one year before being killed by a drunk driver Austin made his own public service announcement on the very same topic, something his parents are now trying to air on local television stations.

"He wouldn't want us to idly watch... we have to be his voice, we have to speak out on his behalf," says his mom Sandy.

Trautman is due back in court May 31, to face nearly two-dozen charges including third degree murder.

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