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Drug use suspected for Kettering pedestrian hit by 2 cars on I-70

UPDATE @ 7:15 p.m. (Feb. 11)

A Kettering woman struck by two cars on Interstate 70 and her boyfriend were believed intoxicated when they crossed the highway, troopers said.

Marissa L. Christophel, 19, was hit Wednesday as she and Joseph P. Finch, 22, of Dayton, ran across I-70 between U.S. 68 and Ohio 72 to get back to their vehicle.

She was listed in serious condition today at Miami Valley Hospital, where she was flown from the scene.

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According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol traffic crash report, Christophel was under the influence, with drug use suspected, when they ran across the interstate.

Finch was being charged with misdemeanor intoxicated pedestrian on the highway, Lt. Brian Aller of the patrol’s Springfield Post said last week. He said Christophel faces charges, too, pending drug test results.

The speed limit is 70 mph. The eastbound lanes were shut down for three hours following the accident, the traffic report stated.

EARLIER REPORT

Kettering woman is stable in the hospital after being struck — by two cars on Interstate 70 — and her Dayton boyfriend is charged for being an intoxicated pedestrian, officials said.

Lt. Brian Aller, Ohio State Highway Patrol in Springfield, said Joseph P. Finch, 22, of Dayton, is being charged with misdemeanor intoxicated pedestrian on the highway.

Marissa L. Christophel, 19, of Kettering, remains stable at Miami Valley Hospital. 

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The couple was running across I-70, between U.S. 68 and Ohio 72, to get back to their vehicle. The woman had a gas can in her hand when she was hit by a Honda Civic driven by Jeffrey A. Black, 56, of Kettering, and then by a Chevrolet Malibu driven by Terry L. Hirons, 38, of Springfield, according to the state patrol.

She was knocked into the air and landed partially in the roadway. The second car struck her legs. The speed limit is 70 mph.

Aller said the office is investigating whether Christophel was impaired as well. If so, he said, she, too, will be charged. 

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Aller told News Center 7’s John Bedell that the duo had been dropped off on I-70 West, and were crossing the interstate to get to their disabled vehicle on the eastbound side.

Troopers are looking to speak with the driver of the vehicle that dropped them off. Aller said that driver would not be held criminally liable, they just want to interview him.

Aller said the investigation includes gathering a timeline of events. Aller himself said he saw the couple’s car broken down on Wednesday morning.

This was during the snow storm that he had spotted a broken down car, covered in snow and parked about five feet off the side of the road.

Aller said the department did not call to have the vehicle towed at that time because it did not pose a hazard to snow removal efforts by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Aller said they have not been able to glean from those involved when the vehicle was first left on the side of I-70.

Aller said the investigation is ongoing, and they are working with Springfield police, whom had some contact with the couple earlier in the night.

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