1 year later: Case continues against wrong-way driver accused of killing Mason family of 3

It’s been one year since three Warren County family members were killed as a result of a wrong-way crash that prosecutors say was intentional.

Timmy Thompson, 51, Karen Thompson, 50, and their daughter, Tessa Thompson, 10, were killed on March 17, 2019, when authorities say Abby Michaels, 22, of Xenia deliberately drove the wrong way on Interstate 75 after pulling over in an emergency u-turn area on the highway near Moraine.

The St. Patrick’s Day crash has led to an ongoing criminal case that accuses Michaels of murder. She has pleaded not guilty and is currently in jail on a $3 million bond. She is due back in court on April 9.

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The fatal crash was one of many wrong-way fatalities in the area. Since 2016, more than a dozen people have lost their lives as a result of those types of wrecks.

So far this year the county has had three fewer fatal crashes, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, than there was at this time in 2019. The Ohio State Highway Patrol says there have been nine fatal crashes in the county so far this year.

In February, family members Amanda Kidwell, 36, Betty Davis, 57, and Brayden Jennings, 6, all from Middletown, were killed on the interstate in Moraine after their car collided with a semi-truck. That investigation is ongoing, but authorities say the semi-truck was traveling northbound when it went through a cable barrier onto the southbound lanes and struck the vehicle carrying the family.

The crash took place near where the Thompson’s died.

In Michaels’ criminal case, blood-alcohol tests show Michaels was above the legal limit, according to police records, but Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said that was not a factor in the wreck.

A statement from Michaels’ estranged husband indicated she told him “I’m going to drive backwards on I-75” just minutes before the triple-fatal crash occurred, according to Moraine Police Division records. Michaels

A motion filed by Michaels’ defense attorney last month is seeking to suppress blood and urine samples taken hours after last year’s wreck.

Driver in wrong-way crash that killed Mason family members wants tests tossed

“Because defendant’s blood sample from the hospital was obtained outside of the time frame allowed by statute (3 hours), was not properly stored (not refrigerated), and no sufficient chain of custody was maintained, the sample must be suppressed,” court documents filed this week by defense attorney Jay Adams state.

“The state cannot establish that the blood draw was requested from defendant within two hours of operation of the vehicle and said samples were obtained within three hours of operation; in fact, the record clearly states just the opposite,” according to the motion.

A response to the motion has not been filed by prosecutors.

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