Friday, December 4, 2015

Four-Car, Heroin-Related Crash Occurs Blocks From Woodfill Elementary

Tow trucks and police help clean up the wreckage from the DUI accident on December 2, 2015. FTM file. 
On Wednesday, mere minutes before students were let out of school at Woodfill Elementary, a 32-year old woman from Mt. Healthy plowed her car into three parked vehicles along S. Fort Thomas Avenue, near The Blue Marble Book Store, before damaging the adjacent sidewalk. All three cars had been jolted so hard by the crash that they ended up on the sidewalk.

April Rooke was arrested on the scene and charged with DUI, Possession Of Heroin, Operating On A Suspended Or Revoked License, Failure To Maintain Insurance and Possession Of A Controlled Substance Not In Proper Container.

April Rooke. Campbell County Detention Center. 
Her passenger was taken to St. Elizabeth Fort Thomas for a possible overdose.

According to Lt. Rich Whitford of the Fort Thomas Police, it wasn't clear if she passed or just lost control of the car. Whitford said both Rooke and her passenger admitted to purchasing heroin in Over-The-Rhine and then using the drugs before getting into the car and traveling back to the VA Hospital, where they had been staying.

"This could have been tragic. It was a half an hour before school let out and there would have been 100 kids walking right past the sidewalk where she wrecked. We're lucky that she didn't kill kids on her way back after using," he said.

Peter Moore, owner of The Blue Marble, did not witness the crash but was concerned with the timing. "Luckily only empty parked cars were damaged. Most thankful that accident occurred at 2:30 before sidewalk was full of children walking home from school," he said.

Whitford also implored residents to alert authorities if they suspect someone is driving under the influence.

"You'll see someone do something we call 'the heroin nod' where they'll literally just nod out and lose consciousness while they are driving," he said.  "If you see erratic driving like this, stay back from them and call 911 immediately so we can get there and try to end the situation before they kill themselves or anybody else. Tell them what you see and where you are."

Whitford said that they received a call after the wreck had occurred from someone who had previously witnessed the erratic driving, but didn't call police because they weren't sure if the person was under the influence.

"She said she didn't want to bother the police and that she had tried honking to get her attention to get her to stop, but absolutely call us. You aren't bothering us, this is our job," he said.

The license plate number, state of origin, vehicle make, model, and color are also helpful for police to find the offender.
FTM file. 

10 comments:

  1. Good idea to report people sleeping in cars as well. On more than one occasion I have seen people sleeping in cars in the library parking lot and over at Lowes -- in the middle of the afternoon.

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  2. Thank God this happened just before school had let out or else this could have ended in tragedy here in our community of NKY. - #NkyHatesHeroin

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  3. 30 minutes before my kids would have been walking home from Woodfill. The EXACT way they come. Wow.

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  4. They are staying at the VA Hospital -- in Fort Thomas?

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  5. Please, for the sake of our children and our beautiful community, report these circumstances immediately. Is rather someone make the call and be wrong than for anyone to get hurt or be killed.

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  6. My understanding is that this happened at approximately 2:10. I was leaving the YMCA around 2:20 and authorities were already on the scene. When I asked a nearby witness, they provided the time. There was a busload of children leaving the Y at 2:35 to return to a nearby school. As horrible as this was, the timing was most definitely a blessing.

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  7. obvious she has an addiction problem .. hopefully she and her passenger are getting help before this happens again

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  8. I am the above mentioned offender and i would like to express how deeply sorry i am for this incident! I have since been recieving treatment for my addiction and am facing some legal consecquences as well.

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    1. April. That is great, I'm glad you are seeking treatment. Can you message me on our Facebook page? I'd like to do a follow up with you. You can also text us at 859-379-5706. Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/FtThomasMatters/?fref=ts

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    2. That is great that you are receiving help for your addiction. If you need further help please reach out to us at www.HeroinSupport.org here in NKY.

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