Family mourns death of mother killed after drunk driving suspect hits her in Westland

Shane Paszkowski Ratliff was killed this week in a crash in Westland. She was just 49 years old.

The mother of four and a new grandmother was hit and killed by a drunk driver Tuesday night at the intersection of Van Born and Henry Ruff.

Police say the man behind the wheel of the car that hit Ratliff’s car was intoxicated. Philippe Ferguson was charged with 11 felonies including operating with a high blood alcohol content causing death in a prior conviction and operating with a revoked license causing death.

“She never had the opportunity to meet her grandbaby,” said Dema Lincoln, her sister. “Because her plans were to leave in less than a month to go to Florida to meet her for the first time.”

Lincoln said that this was not the first time allegedly driving impaired for the suspect, Ferguson.

“This is his 4th offense of this type of behavior,” she said. “He’s not learning his lesson, he’s not.”

Now a family is left with only memories and photographs.

“Her first thought was to do for everyone else, put everyone first in everything,” Lincoln said. “Whether it was for her children, her parents, her cousins, her aunts and uncles.”

At the time, Ratliff was returning home from helping one of her uncles with his taxes, when she was hit and killed. 

“It’s just a useless death, there’s no reason for this,” Lincoln said. “It’s just so hard to know she’s not going to be here.”

The family has a GoFundMe page that if you would like to donate, will find it HERE.
 

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