The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 23, 2012

Woman charged in fatal crash

Star Beacon


 A Conneaut woman faces two counts of vehicular homicide in connection with a Father’s Day traffic crash that killed two people, City Solicitor Michael Franklin said Monday.

Samantha Starcher, 22, was driving her 2006 Chevrolet Heritage High Roof sedan east June 17 on Route 84 in Ashtabula Township when she passed another vehicle in a no-passing zone, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol reports.

While in the passing lane, Starcher saw Benita Fusco’s westbound 1987 Chevrolet pickup approaching, swerved back into the eastbound lane, lost control and again drove left of center, striking the truck head-on, the OHP reports

Fusco, 56, of Ashtabula, who was driving the pickup, was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said. Abby Donathan, 46, of Geneva, a rear-seat passenger in Starcher’s vehicle, was ejected from the vehicle and died en route to the hospital, troopers said. 

Five people, including three young children, were injured in the crash, the OHP reports.

Starcher was hospitalized after the accident at Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center.

Franklin said each charge is a first-degree misdemeanors, punishable by up to six months in jail, fines of up to $1,000, and driver’s license suspension of up to five years.