Woman indicted in death of bicyclist

Woman indicted in death of bicyclist
(C. Lower/FOX19 NOW)
(C. Lower/FOX19 NOW)

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - A Hamilton County grand jury indicted the woman accused in the Jan. 31 hit-and-run death of bicyclist Michael Prater, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

Melinda Woodall, 34, was indicted with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, one count of failure to stop after an accident, three counts possession of drugs and one count of possessing drug instruments.

If convicted of all charges, she faces the possibility of over 15 years in prison.

Police said Woodall had five syringes with residue, a metal spoon and tourniquet in her Jeep when she hit Prater on U.S. 52 near Asbury Road last month.  She also had three pill bottles containing prescription drugs stashed in her bra, according to the documents.

She swerved into the right shoulder and struck Prater, police said. He was thrown from his bicycle and landed on the roadway.

"Absolutely senseless.  Mr. Prater was out for what should have been an enjoyable Sunday afternoon bicycle ride," Deters said. "Our community is grieving the loss of a husband, father and friend simply because of someone under the influence of drugs."

Woodall fled the scene without stopping or attempting to give aid to Prater, authorities said.

Prater had been transported to University of Cincinnati Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Police located her abandoned jeep in the 1800 block of Sutton Road. Shortly after, Woodall was found about a block away and arrested.

"When questioned, Mrs. Woodall admitted to striking Mr. Prater and fleeing the scene," a Hamilton County affidavit reads. "Mrs. Woodall appeared to be under the influence of unknown prescription narcotics during her questioning."

Her toxicology results are pending.

Woodall's license has been suspended, Deters said.

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