PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (CBS) – A 20-year-old Philadelphia woman will spend at least one year behind bars in connection with a deadly hit-and-run crash that killed a student on a rainy Sunday night outside Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School last year.

The Montgomery County judge sentenced Stephanie Phillips to 1-5 years in jail.  One year is the mandatory minimum for the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

Phillips, who was driving with a suspended license that night, struck and killed 17-year-old Denise Cotteta, who had run into Germantown Pike during a celebration for the school’s basketball team, which had just won the state championship (see previous story).

The victim’s father, Joe Cotteta, says the family has been able to forgive Phillips.

“Denise, she was a wonderful girl.  She was always out there trying to help people, and I never realized how much she helped people until after her death,” he told KYW Newsradio.

Now the family is trying to help others. They will hold a car wash at the high school on Sunday, with the proceeds going to the senior class trip fund and a scholarship fund named in memory of Denise Cotteta.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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