Van-train crash probe to look at role of prescription drugs

AP News
Posted: Aug 07, 2015 5:52 PM

CINCINNATI (AP) — Investigators probing a crash involving a van and a train that killed an adult passenger and injured 9 children and the van's driver are looking into whether prescription drugs might have played a role.

The driver of the van carrying vacation Bible school students that crashed into a freight train at a rail crossing in Middletown told paramedics she had been taking Vicodin and Adderall all day, according to the patrol's crash report. Vicodin is a prescription used to relieve pain and Adderall is a prescription stimulant sometimes used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Messages left Friday at a Middletown listing for 62-year-old driver Judith Ashley and at the hospital where she was taken for treatment of injuries weren't immediately returned.

The patrol says the gates were down and the warning lights activated July 28 when the van approached the crossing in the city about 30 miles north of Cincinnati and crashed through the gate.

The patrol said the van's front-seat passenger died at a hospital. Police said nine children, ranging in age from 7 to 10, and Ashley were taken to hospitals with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Investigators were awaiting results of a blood analysis from Ashley, the patrol report said.