Bar cancels ‘off to prison’ party for OVI driver who badly injured 2 teens
“I just feel like this is nothing to joke about. Both of those girls could’ve died.”
FAIRFIELD, Ohio (FOX19) - Rick’s Tavern & Grille in Fairfield says it has canceled a prison send-off party for a woman who crashed into and seriously hurt, two teenage girls.
The crash occurred around 3 a.m. on May 6, 2020, at Ohio 4 and Symmes Road in Fairfield.
Samantha Harvey, 51, was charged and later convicted on counts of aggravated vehicular assault and operating a vehicle under the influence with a marijuana specification.
The victims, Edgewood High School students Caila Nagel and Savannah Schlueter, were badly injured in the crash.
Savannah suffered two collapsed lungs, multiple broken ribs, a lacerated kidney, spinal fractures, torn rotator cuffs and a traumatic brain injury, according to her mother, Candy Schlueter.
Caila suffered similar injuries, Candy says. She’s been in a wheelchair ever since.
“She’s a miracle,” Candy said of Savannah. “God saved her life, hers and Caila’s.”
Word of the party allegedly spread through a Facebook event titled the “Sending Samantha off to Prison Party,” according to Candy, who says she obtained a screenshot of the event page.
“My heart kind of sunk, because I felt like these were two young teenage lives, and you’re taking this so lightly,” Candy said. “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.”
Rick’s Tavern & Grille confirmed it was the planned location of the purported party in roundabout fashion on Facebook Tuesday, adding that it had since canceled the event.
“I do appreciate them putting on their Facebook page that they would not condone that or host that,” Candy said.
As for Savannah, Candy says her daughter is improving with one final surgery coming up, but that the incident has exacted a psychological toll.
“Emotionally she struggles a little bit,” Candy said. “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.”
Harvey is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Candy adds she wants what happened to Caila and her daughter to serve as a reminder that no one should get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs.
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