Tips, video lead to arrest in hit-and-run that killed Marine
By Allison Wichie | Dayton (Ohio) Daily News | Published: February 26, 2014
Citizen tips and the damage to an Urbana, Ohio, woman’s vehicle helped make an arrest in a hit-and-run crash that killed a Marine earlier this month.
Holly Fowler, 26, posted the $50,000 bond set at a video arraignment in Bellefontaine Municipal Court on Tuesday morning. Fowler is accused of fatally striking Marine Gunnery Sgt. Monica Plank while Plank was walking back to her hotel room early Feb. 16.
Interviews with witnesses of the crash and review of surveillance footage of people leaving TP Bowling Lanes on the same night as Plank’s death led Bellefontaine police to Fowler a week after the crash. In the course of the interview with her, police asked to see her vehicle. The burgundy Chevy Malibu had evidence of damages consistent with those from the hit-skip scene, Chief Brandon Standley said.
“At that point in time, we were confident we had the right vehicle,” he said. “There was right front bumper damage, and there was damage to the A-pillar on the passenger side.”
Fowler initially repeatedly denied any involvement in the fatal crash and denied knowing how the damages to her car occurred. Standley said that she later admitted responsibility for striking Plank.
The car was impounded for further investigation. Plank is charged with felony charges of failing to stop at the scene of a fatal accident and tampering with evidence.
The latter charge is in relationship with actions Fowler allegedly made “to attempt to cover her tracks” after she drove away from the crash, Standley said.
“Her actions are inexcusable, and if she would have stopped, we would have been able to handle it as a traffic crash,” Standley said.
Jacob Henderson, who works down the street from where the crash happened, said he didn’t understand how someone could drive away from a pedestrian crash.
“It’s just messed up that no one even stopped or anything like that,” said Henderson. “She just kept going and going and going and had to wait for a week to figure out who (the driver) was.”
The case will be considered by a grand jury.