$3M bond for driver charged in wrong-way crash that killed Mason family

RAW VIDEO: Abby Michaels, charged w/murder in wrong-way crash that killed Mason family, in court

DAYTON, Ohio (FOX19) - Bond was set at $3 million Tuesday morning for the driver charged in a wrong-way crash that killed a Mason family of three.

Abby Michaels, 21, pleaded not guilty during a brief bond hearing in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court to six counts of murder, six counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

The case returns to court Aug. 7 at 9:45 a.m.

She has been held without bond at the Montgomery County jail since her indictment Thursday, jail records show.

Michaels was behind the wheel of 2015 Kia Forte that hit and killed the Thompson family in their Toyota Camry on Interstate 75 near Dayton the evening of March 17, according to Moraine police.

Abby Michaels, 21, was indicted Thursday on six counts of murder, six counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, and OVI for the March wrong-way crash that killed a Mason family of 3.
Abby Michaels, 21, was indicted Thursday on six counts of murder, six counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, and OVI for the March wrong-way crash that killed a Mason family of 3. (Source: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office)

Timmy Thompson, 51, Karen Thompson, 50, and Tessa Thompson, 10, died in the accident, which occurred in the southbound lanes between Dryden Road and South Dixie Avenue.

Timmy Thompson was vice president of sales and marketing at Tape Products Company in Cincinnati. Karen Thompson touched countless lives as a special education teacher with Cincinnati Public Schools, and Tessa was a fourth grader at St. Susanna Parish School in Mason.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr. called the family’ deaths a tragedy that easily could have been avoided.

“This defendant was upset and decided to take the action that she did," he said in a news conference last week.

"As a result, evidenced showed this defendant knew what she was going and what she wanted to accomplish. Unfortunately, what she accomplished was wiping out and murdering his family,” he said.

Heck declined to say why Michaels was so upset, only citing “personal matters."

But in a newly released statement to Moraine police, her husband - who filed for divorce two days before the crash - said his wife called him at 8 p.m. the night of the crash asking to come over, police records show.

He told her no because she’d been drinking and she told him “I’m gonna kill myself,” the report states. She called him back and said “I’m going to drive backwards on 75,” and then did that minutes later.

Alcohol was a factor in the crash, police announced earlier this year, but the prosecutor said it was deliberate.

“Being under the influence was not a contributing factor,” Heck said. "This was a deliberate act on her part. This was an intentional act of driving into traffic the wrong way,” he said.

RELATED | Mason family of 3 killed in wrong-way I-75 crash near Dayton

Police said their preliminary investigation confirmed Michaels’ Kia Forte was traveling north in the southbound lanes before the crash.

They also said investigators confirmed the Kia crossed over the median in that area by using the paved turn-around for authorized and emergency vehicles.

A witness said the car ran straight through the turn-around, avoiding the median and then drove the wrong way down I-75.

A Moraine officer shared, in graphic detail, what he found when he arrived on the scene of the deadly crash, a police report shows.

The officer said medics attempted to get an airway started in Michaels. They struggled due to a ‘frothy fluid’ coming from her mouth that medics identified as beer, the report states.

Michael was dressed in “festive” St. Patrick’s Day clothing: a St. Patrick’s Day shirt and multiple green, plastic shamrock necklaces, he wrote.

She also had a temporary tattoo on her right cheek, a beer mug.

The report also said the officer found a large cup with a Fireball whiskey logo inside her purse with a small amount of an unknown, dark liquid on the bottom.

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