Alcohol is considered a factor in an early Sunday morning crash that killed a 39-year-old woman after the vehicle she was riding in swerved to avoid a wrong-way driver and became pinned under a semi-tractor trailer.
The crash happened around midnight on southbound I-75 at Neva Drive. Rachel Schidecker, 18, of Laura, Ohio, was travelling north in the southbound lanes, the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed on Sunday. Drivers had to swerve between lanes in attempts to avoid her car.
A car was pushed underneath a semi-tractor trailer and both vehicles caught fire. A passerby was able to pull the driver of the car out of the vehicle. The driver and a passenger from the semi also escaped.
Chereese Rule, 39, of Kansas City, Mo., a passenger in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene. Rule was identified by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office on Sunday morning.
Troopers said Schidecker also hit another car, forcing it into a van.
“We do believe alcohol is involved,” OSP Sgt. Paul Robinson said Sunday morning. “She was coming from an establishment downtown. “We do not know where she got on the interstate.”
Five people were taken to Miami Valley Hospital. By Sunday afternoon, two had been treated and released. The injuries of the three still in the hospital were not considered life-threatening.
Investigators said charges against Schidecker will be likely presented to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office by Friday, Aug. 17. Schidecker could face a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, OSP said.
One of Schidecker’s family members declined to comment on the crash on Sunday.
Troopers did not administer a field sobriety test to Schidecker, but said the 18-year-old was visibly intoxicated. A sample of Schidecker’s blood was sent to a Columbus lab to determine alcohol content, and Miami Valley Hospital conducted a toxicology report as well, OSP said.
The accident remains under investigation.