Police investigate wrong-way triple-fatal crash as vehicular homicide

A 21-year-old woman could face vehicular homicide charges for a wrong-way Interstate 75 wreck that killed three Warren County family members on St. Patrick’s Day in a crash police suspect involved alcohol.

Abby Michaels of Xenia, the wrong-way driver in the triple-fatal wreck, had what medics described as beer “coming from her mouth” and was dressed for the Irish holiday, according to Moraine police records.

Mason residents Timmy Thompson, 51, and daughter Tessa Thompson, 10, died at the scene after their Camry was struck by a Kia driven by Michaels, who was northbound in the southbound lanes near the Dryden Road exit, police said.

A third victim, Karen Thompson, 50, did not survive after being taken to Kettering Hospital, police records show.

Michaels is in serious condition at a local hospital, police said.

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The crash, which occurred about 8:10 p.m. and backed up traffic for hours, is being investigated as a vehicular homicide, Moraine police said Tuesday.

Michaels crossed over the median in the area of the 49 mile marker “via the paved turnaround restricted for authorized and emergency vehicles,” according to a statement released by Moraine police.

Wrong-way wrecks on interstates surrounding Dayton have killed more than a dozen people in the past three years. Many of those crashes involved alcohol, authorities said.

After Sunday night’s accident, Michaels had “frothy fluid coming from her mouth” which “the medics identified as beer,” Moraine police records state.

She was “wearing a festive St. Patrick’s Day shirt, multiple green, plastic shamrock necklaces and she had a temporary tattoo on her right cheek of an apparent beer mug,” police records show.

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One witness said he was driving northbound on I-75 when he saw a white sedan pull into the “U-turn area of the median,” records show.

The witness said the car “then pulled into the middle lane of oncoming traffic and within 10-15 seconds hit another car head-on,” police records state.

Since 2017, at least two wrong-way interstate driving accidents have killed multiple people. In October of that year, Melvin Bonie, 69, of Beavercreek had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood when his he drove his vehicle northbound into the southbound lanes, authorities said.

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The wreck killed himself and Kalip Grimm, a 2017 Miamisburg High School graduate. The accident occurred just north of the interchange of Ohio 48, where police said Bonie entered the highway.

In February 2016, five people - including several local musicians - were killed in a wrong-way crash blamed on alcohol on I-75. The dead included three members of a Dayton rock band CounterFlux and a 61-year-old man who had been arrested for OVI just 48 hours before the crash.

The young victims included four friends: Kyle Canter, 23, of New Carlisle; Earl Miller II, 27, of New Carlisle; Vashti Nicole Brown, 29, of Dayton; and Devin Bachmann, 26, of Huber Heights.

James Pohlabeln, a 61-year-old retiree from Dayton, was the driver of the other car. He had been released from jail just 33 hours earlier in connection with a separate suspected drunken driving crash.


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