No matter how many ads get produced about the dangers of drinking and driving, there are still people out there who ignore all the risks and get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. Because someone decided to drink and then drive, a family was killed while returning home from a visit to their relatives. One of the victims killed in the accident was known across the state as a “tremendous teacher.”
The 21-year-old driver who killed the family decided to get behind the wheel of her car after drinking as much as her body would hold at a St. Patrick’s Day party. Her name is Abby Michaels. She has been charged with three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide because she drove the wrong way on highway I-75 and crashed head-on into the car carrying the family from Mason.
Abby Michaels had so much to drink that police reported that beer was spewing out of her mouth after the crash. She was transported to Miami Valley Hospital after the accident and was listed in serious condition. She crossed the median and turned into oncoming traffic at 8 pm on Sunday.
The young drinker crashed her Kia Forte in the Toyota Camry carrying the innocent family. They include 51-year-old Timmy Thompson, 50-year-old Karen Thompson, and their 10-year-old daughter Tessa Thompson. Michaels killed them all.
Timmy and Tessa were pronounced dead at the scene of the vehicular homicide. Karen Thompson was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
When Steve Setoodeh, who lives near the Thompson, saw the news report on TV later that day, he thought he recognized their Toyota Camry. Since the car was mangled from the crash, he couldn’t be sure. However, he found out soon enough and called it “a big tragedy.”
Because of Michaels’ drunken decision, the police closed down highway I-75 for four hours.
When the crash happened, one 911 caller said, “I’m pretty sure no one survived. It is awful.”
Police suspected alcohol was the cause. When paramedics came to Michaels’ side, they reported beer spewing from the drunk’s mouth as they tried to help her breathe. Michaels wore her St. Patrick’s Day shirt and had gotten a tattoo of a beer mug on her cheek, a temporary version. When officers searched her purse, they found a large cup emblazoned with the Fireball whiskey logo.
The Thompsons were returning home after visiting Karen’s family in northern Ohio. Karen had a reputable career as a multiple-disabilities teacher at Taft Elementary in Cincinnati Public School District. She’d been a dedicated and admired teacher since 1994.
“Karen was a tremendous teacher, and her work had a huge impact on many families,” said Frances Russ, communications officer for the district. “All of us will miss her.”
Meanwhile, young Tessa was a student at St. Susanna School. A school spokeswoman called her “a bright light who had a great effect on students and staff, and it is a tragic loss for all who knew her.”
What do you think should happen to Abby Michaels?