MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – A family of three was headed home from vacation this past St. Patrick’s Day when they were killed by a wrong-way driver on I-75. Now, the 21-year-old driver is facing charges for murder.
On St. Patrick’s Day this past March 17, Moraine Police officers were asked to assist medics on northbound I-75 near the Dryden Road exit after 911 calls reported a driver traveling on the wrong side of the interstate.
By the time officers arrived at the scene, they found catastrophic damage had been done to a white Kia Forte and a grey Toyota Camry.
The Kia, driven by 21-year-old Abby Michaels, had been traveling the wrong way in the northbound lane when she slammed head-on into the grey Toyota Camry that was carrying a family of three returning home from vacation.
Witnesses say Michaels never slowed down and was actually accelerating when the crash occurred. 51-year-old Timmy Thompson, 50-year-old Karen Thompson, and their 10-year-old daughter Tessa were all killed as a result.
“There was no indication of slowing down, no indication of going to the side. This was an intentional act of driving into traffic the wrong way. That’s what makes this so dangerous,” said Prosecutor Mat Heck.
Further investigation revealed that Michaels had been driving under the influence of alcohol. Her blood alcohol level was measured at .099 – just barely over the legal limit.
However, prosecutors say alcohol was not considered a contributing factor because she caused the crash deliberately.
“The evidence that we have so far shows that she was upset and that she had talked about possibly doing this and that was her intent. Unfortunately, what she accomplished was wiping out and murdering this family,” Heck said.
She was indicted by the Montgomery County Grand Jury Thursday for six counts of murder, six counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, and one count of OVI.
“This tragedy could have easily been avoided. The defendant was upset and decided to take this action. Evidence shows this defendant knew what she was doing and what she wanted to accomplish,” said Heck.
Michaels is in custody and will be arraigned on July 23 at 8:30 am.