A 21-year-old Ohio woman is accused of purposely driving into traffic while drunk, killing a family, because she was upset her husband filed for divorce two days before.
On July 18, Abby Michaels was indicted in connection with the March 17 deaths of Timmy Thompson, his wife Karen Thompson, and their 10-year-old daughter, Tessa Thompson, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr. announced at a press conference.
She is charged with six counts of murder, six counts of aggregated vehicular homicide and one count of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
At the time of the crash, Michaels was allegedly “wearing a festive St. Patrick’s Day shirt,” and had beer foaming out of her mouth, according to a police report obtained by PEOPLE.
Initially, the fatal crash was investigated as vehicular manslaughter. But authorities now say they believe the crash was deliberate and intentional.
“This tragedy could have easily been avoided. This was not an accident,” Heck said at the press conference. “This defendant was upset and decided to take the action that she did. As a result, evidence showed this defendant knew what she was doing and what she wanted to accomplish. Unfortunately, what she accomplished was wiping out and murdering his family.”
When asked why Michaels was upset, Heck said it was “personal matters” but declined to go into further detail.
In a newly released statement to police, Michaels’ 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, WLWT reports. He could tell “she had been drinking,” he told police, and said no.
Immediately Michaels became upset, her husband said, allegedly telling him, “I’m gonna kill myself,” the station reports.
Minutes later she called him back and allegedly said, “I’m going [to] drive backwards on 75.”
Minutes after that, at 8:10 p.m. Michaels’ car crashed.
Heck said Michaels’ being under the influence was not a contributing factor to the Thompson family’s deaths and that Michaels allegedly accelerated into the family’s car.
One witness told police he was driving northbound on 1-75 when a white sedan passed him in the left lane and then pulled into the U-turn area of the median, according to the police report obtained in March.
“[The witness] stated the car then pulled into the middle of oncoming traffic and within 10-15 seconds hit another car head on,” the report stated.
Another witness said she saw “a white car cross the median and begin traveling northbound in the southbound. She said the car didn’t appear to be slowing down.”
Timmy Thompson and his daughter, Tessa, died at the scene. Karen Thompson was transported to Kettering Memorial Hospital where she also died.
Michaels, who was hospitalized following the crash, remains behind bars in Montgomery County Jail. If convicted, she faces life in prison.
It wasn’t immediately clear if she has entered a plea to the charges.