2 Hamilton pedestrians hit and killed in less than a week: What we know today

Two Hamilton pedestrians were struck in killed by vehicles in less than a week as recently released data show Butler County ranks among the top 10 in the state in such crashes.

Miranda Perry, 28, was killed Wednesday afternoon as she walked on Millville Avenue. The driver of the car fled the scene. Karen Riegert was arrested less than two hours later at her Hamilton home and charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene, both felonies, and OVI.

Troy D. Simmons. 48, was struck and killed Jan. 15 at about 5:45 a.m. on Witt Way near railroad tracks and behind the McDonald’s on High Street and Martin King Jr. Boulevard.

A 52-year-old man was driving the vehicle that hit Simmons. Hamilton Police said the driver was not cited and was not at fault.

“(Simmons) was crossing outside the cross walk in the dark,” Hamilton Sgt. Rich Burkhardt said.

According to an Ohio Department of Transportation study released this month, there were 134 pedestrians killed in the state in 2018, 141 in 2017, 136 in 2016 and 119 in 2015.

Hamilton ranked eighth in the state for serious pedestrian crashes using data from 2009 to 2018, according to the study. Butler County ranked 10th in the state when calculating serious pedestrian crashes per 100,000 population.

The study from ODOT said pedestrian crashes are on the rise in the state, primarily in urban areas.

“From 2009 to 2018 Ohio experienced 1,101 fatal pedestrian crashes and 5,073 serious injury pedestrian crashes,” the study states. “In 2017, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 12 percent of all traffic fatalities in Ohio, despite the fact that the walk commute mode share is only two percent.”

Riegert was arraigned Thursday in Hamilton Municipal Court, where Judge Dan Gattermeyer set bond at $200,000. On Friday, Riegert remained housed in the Butler County Jail. Her next court appearance is Jan. 29.

According to the Hamilton police report, Riegert was driving westbound and weaving. The vehicle went off the right side of the road and left of center several times, then struck Perry and fled.

Officers located Riegert at her home on Curtis Avenue, where she told them she had been to the Towne Pub and had “four Seven and Sevens (alcoholic drinks),” according to the police report.

When she returned home, Riegert consumed Salisbury steak and milk, but had not consumed any additional alcohol, according to police.

Officers told Riegert her vehicle had been involved in a crash, and she asked, “Where?” She then wanted to see the vehicle. Riegert went outside with officers and observed damage to her car parked a the curb.

“Defendant was unsteady on her feet,” an officer said in the report.

Riegert was taken into custody after officers performed field sobriety tests.

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