CINCINNATI – A “Going to Prison” party planned to celebrate the conviction of a drunken driver who injured two Ohio teens was canceled after backlash from the victims’ families.
Samantha Harvey, 51, was convicted of aggravated vehicular assault and operating a vehicle under the influence after she severely injured Savannah Schlueter and Caila Nagel in the May 2020 accident, WXIX reported. She faces up to 78 months in jail. Her sentencing is next month.
A party was planned at an Ohio bar to celebrate.
Savannah’s mother, Candy Schlueter, said the event was in poor taste.
“My heart kind of sunk, because I felt like these were two young teenage lives, and you’re taking this so lightly,” Candy told WXIX. “Having this party, almost in celebration of the accident, and I just … It really just broke my heart, because I just feel like this is nothing to joke about. Both of those girls could’ve died.”
The creator of the event said Wednesday it was canceled, WKRC reported. The restaurant where it was going to be held said it had no idea about the event.
“Some of you may have have heard that we are hosting a ‘Going to prison party’ for someone that caused an alcohol related accident that resulted in someone being permanently paralyzed,” Rick’s Tavern and Grille said on social media. “We DO NOT condone this behavior! Our hearts go out to all that have been affected by this tragedy. However, we are currently looking into options for holding a fundraiser to benefit those involved.”
Victims Savannah Schlueter and Nagel were severely injured in the accident.
Savannah’s mother, Candy Schlueter, said her daughter has recovered from a traumatic brain injury and dozens of broken bones, WKRC reported. She also suffered two collapsed lungs, a lacerated kidney, spinal fractures and torn rotator cuffs, WXIX reported.
“Emotionally she struggles a little bit,” Candy told WXIX. “She thinks about it all the time and she’s kind of a ‘suffer in silence’ kind of person. She doesn’t really talk about it a lot with anyone, so she struggles with that sometimes. She has some effects from the traumatic brain injury, but it’s improving.”
Nagel suffered similar injuries and is confined to a wheelchair. Her family started a crowd-sourced funding account to help with medical costs.
“She could have took these girls’ lives, and I just don’t think you should take that lightly, ever,” Candy Schlueter told WKRC. “I feel like she has a disregard for the consequences and the hurt that she caused.”
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