Trial underway for woman accused of killing 3 in wrong-way crash on St. Patrick’s Day in 2019

DAYTON — The trial for a woman charged in the wrong-way crash that killed three on St. Patrick’s Day in 2019 began Monday.

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Abby Michaels, 25, is accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 75 in Montgomery County while under the influence; however, complications with an officer lying to obtain a warrant for a blood sample test caused multiple charges to be dropped and the associated officer to resign.

An investigation found Michaels was driving northbound in the southbound lanes on Interstate 75 when she collided with a Toyota Camry, occupied by the Thompson family from Mason, Ohio.

Timmy Thompson, 51, Karen Thompson, 50, and their daughter, Tessa Thompson, 10, were killed in the crash on March 17.

Michaels was suspected of driving under the influence during the crash, which prompted a Moraine Police officer to request a warrant to draw the suspect’s blood and test it for substances.

The findings led to the initial indictment of 13 counts: six counts of murder, six counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, and one count of operating a vehicle under the influence.

However, scrutiny of the evidence presented against Michaels found that Moraine Police Officer Steven Harrison lied in statements on court records that were used to get a warrant for a blood sample from Michaels while she was in the hospital.

Harrison made false statements about smelling an alcoholic beverage coming from Michaels’s person and that she was aspirating beer. The blood sample was also not collected quickly enough after the crash and went unrefrigerated for at least eight to nine hours while waiting to be picked up by the U.S. Postal Service, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Steven Dankof ruled.

Harrison resigned from the Moraine Police Department following the findings.

As a result of the misinformation used to collect a blood sample illegally, three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and one count of OVI were dropped.

News Center 7 later discovered that Michaels’s attorneys filed paperwork to waive her right to a jury trial. She was scheduled to have a bench trial, according to Montgomery County Common Pleas Court records.

News Center 7 will report to the court chambers to update the story and its developments.

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