More charges for woman accused of causing accident that injured police chief

Accident injured eight people, including Middletown police chief

MIDDLETOWN — Additional charges are being pursued against the 26-year-old Middletown woman police say was responsible for injuring eight people in a Jan. 21 car crash, including the city’s police chief.

Rachel Harp, of 4206 Vannest Ave., was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, Feb. 3, for a pretrial hearing on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, failure to control and not assuring clear distance. That hearing has been continued to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 12.

She faces several fresh charges related to the four-vehicle accident, including vehicular assault, two counts of endangering children, open flask, fleeing the scene, a seat belt violation and no child restraint. Of the 10 total charges brought against Harp, all are misdemeanors with the lone exception of vehicular assault, a fourth-degree felony.

According to police reports, Harp was traveling north on University Boulevard at 6:10 p.m. when she drove her minivan across a grassy median and struck a southbound Dodge Durango. Harp’s minivan continued spinning and collided head-on with a Chevrolet Malibu sedan driven by Middletown police Chief Greg Schwarber, according to reports.

After hitting Schwarber’s unmarked city vehicle, the van traveled several hundred yards and struck a Saturn at the intersection of Logan Avenue, police said.

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Harp is being held in the Middletown City Jail on $18,500 bond.

Contact this reporter at (513) 705-2871 or rgauthier@coxohio.com.

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