Community reacts to not guilty verdict in triple fatal 2019 St. Patrick’s Day crash

“Every time when I’m coming home, and I see that white house, it triggers my mind.”
Driver in triple fatal 2019 St. Patrick's Day crash not guilty on all charges
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 11:28 PM EDT
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DAYTON (WXIX) - People across the Tri-State express their disagreements and sympathies just hours after Montgomery County Judge Steven Dankof found 25-year-old Abby Michaels not guilty of causing a triple fatal crash in 2019.

Prior to Friday’s verdict, Michaels faced six counts of murder in connection with a crash on I-75 that killed Timmy Thompson, 51, Karen Thompson, 50, and their 10-year-old daughter Tessa Thompson.

“I couldn’t get it off my mind. How a guy that you know almost next door, in one accident, loses the whole family,” Steve Setoodeh, a neighbor of the Thompson family, said.

Setoodeh says there is still a lot of shock and sadness surrounding the fatal St. Patrick’s Day car crash that claimed the Thompsons’ lives.

“Every time when I’m coming home, and I see that white house, it triggers my mind,” he said.

What is even more alarming is the not-guilty verdict that Judge Dankof gave Michaels for allegedly driving the wrong way on I-75 that night, the neighbor told FOX19 NOW.

“It kind of took me aback,” said a friend of the Thompsons, Brenda Eubanks. “I just don’t understand how a person cannot be reprimanded for something like that.”

Court documents indicate that prosecutors failed to prove Michaels “knowingly” caused the murders.

They also say that alcohol was not a factor in the wreck and that the 25-year-old suffered from PTSD and psychogenic non-epileptic seizure disorder.

“If she had a seizure and couldn’t tell where she was going, or what she was doing, that’s a different story,” Setoodeh said.

Eubanks says her son had a bond with Karen, who taught his special education class.

“Very traumatizing to deal with. Especially having to help my son understand, who suffers from autism, that this has happened with someone he had a long-term relationship with,” she explained.

FOX19 NOW reached out to Michaels, her family, defense attorney and friends for comment, but did not hear back.

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