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Published: Wednesday, 8/8/2007

Tests show Holgate students killed in crash had been drinking

BY JC REINDL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Tara Brooke Giesige, left, 15, and Liza Catherine Clady, 17, died in a July 4 single-car crash on Henry County Road Y in Pleasant Township. The accident occurred
at 1:15 a.m., authorities said. Tara Brooke Giesige, left, 15, and Liza Catherine Clady, 17, died in a July 4 single-car crash on Henry County Road Y in Pleasant Township. The accident occurred at 1:15 a.m., authorities said.
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NAPOLEON Toxicology test results released yesterday indicate that the two Holgate High School girls basketball players killed in a car crash July 4 had been drinking the night of the accident, according to the Henry County Prosecutor s Office.

Liza Catherine Clady, 17, of New Bavaria, Ohio, who was driving the car, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.069 percent, Richard Fisher, the county s chief assistant prosecutor, said.

Tara Brooke Giesige, 15, of Holgate, who was riding in the back seat, had an alcohol level of 0.049 percent, Mr. Fisher said.

While neither girl tested above Ohio s legal limit for a motorist over age 21 0.08 per cent they both exceeded the 0.02 percent legal limit for a motorist under 21.

No one under age 21 is allowed to have alcohol in Ohio, according to state law.

The single-car accident occurred about 1:15 a.m. on Henry County Road Y, between county Roads 17 and 18 in Pleasant Township, authorities said.

The car was traveling southeast on Road Y when Miss Clady failed to round a curve and the vehicle went onto the north shoulder. She overcorrected, sending the car veering across the road s south side where it overturned and struck a utility pole, according to a sheriff s office report.

Front seat passenger Hannah Stevens, 15, of New Bavaria, was hurt in the crash, but was released from a hospital the following day.

Holgate and New Bavaria are neighboring communities in southwestern Henry County, 45 miles southwest of Toledo.

On Monday, the Henry County Sheriff s Office issued a summons charging Benjamin Wolkiewicz, 23, of Holgate with contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child after he was accused of supplying alcohol to an underage party on the night of the crash.

County Sheriff John Nye said the party was at a residence in Pleasant Township and was attended by a half dozen or so people under the legal drinking age.

Mr. Fisher said there s an indication that Miss Clady, Miss Giesige, and Miss Stevens attended the party, but he could not confirm whether the two girls drank alcohol there.

Sheriff Nye said investigators believe that Mr. Wolkiewicz purchased the alcohol for a juvenile, who then brought it to the party.

The juvenile was one of five who have been charged with underage consumption following the investigation into the July 4 crash.

The four men and one woman are all Henry County residents, authorities said.

A court date has yet to be set for Mr. Wolkiewicz, who could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Sheriff Nye said he does not anticipate any additional arrests in the case.

Contact JC Reindl at: jreindl@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.



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