AKRON, Ohio — A woman that police say was under the influence of drugs when she abandoned her three-year-old child in the middle of a roadway, before causing a three car accident, has been sentenced to four years in prison.
According to the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, Melissa D. Swiger, 33, of Akron, was found guilty on Friday by a jury on charges of aggravated vehicular assault, failure to stop after an incident, operating under the influence and child endangering.
Immediately following the verdict Swiger received a four year prison sentence from Judge Lynne Callahan.
On November 2, 2011 Swiger was arrested following a bizarre series of events.
According to Lt. Rick Edwards with the Akron Police Department, Swiger was distraught over the recent death of her father and had taken drugs prior to driving with her 3-year-old child in the early afternoon.
Swiger was driving along West Waterloo Road when she put the car in park, exited the vehicle and placed the child, who was in a car seat, in the middle of the street. Swiger then drove away.
A woman in the area saw Swiger place the child in the street and immediately ran to the child’s aid. The woman then contacted police.
Lt. Edwards says that within minutes Swiger was involved in three car accident at the intersection of Main Street and Waterloo Road.
According to prosecutors, the driver of one of the vehicles Swiger struck is now wheelchair bound due to the accident.
Swiger ran from the scene of the crash to Holy Cross Cemetery, where she was found by two Sheriff’s deputies. Because Swiger was babbling incoherently, the deputies sent her to a psychiatric ward. Tests revealed a large amount of marijuana in Swiger’s system.
The 3-year-old child was initially placed in the custody of Akron’s Children Services Board. The child has since been placed in the custody of a family member.