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Woman who crashed into sheriff’s house is sentenced

Published September 12. 2018 12:20PM

A Mount Carmel woman who crashed her car into Schuylkill County Sheriff Joseph G. Groody’s house on Aug. 14, 2017, will spend up to six months in jail.

Judge Charles M. Miller sentenced Melanie L. Rooney, 40, to 30 days to six months in jail followed by 12 months on probation after she pleaded guilty to causing an accident involving damage to attended vehicle or property and driving under the influence.

An additional two counts of recklessly endangering another person and one each of accident involving death or personal injury, disregarding traffic lane, failure to drive at a safe speed, stop sign violation, failure to obey traffic control devices, reckless driving, careless driving and failure to stop and give information were dropped in plea negotiations.

Rooney’s license was suspended for one year, followed by one year of ignition interlock. Miller also ordered her to perform 20 hours of community service.

She also must pay a total of $2,113 in fines and court costs.

Ashland police charged Rooney after she smashed into the corner of Groody’s house on Aug. 14, 2017.

In an interview after the crash, Groody said Rooney was driving west on Walnut Street in Ashland at a high rate of speed, ran several stop signs and failed to round a curb.

“She hit a curb, and when she hit the curb, both of her tires blew out. She hit a stop sign, and proceeded through my neighbor’s whole lawn. There was a big tree, and I don’t know how she missed it,” Groody said at the time.

He immediately went to check to see if the driver was hurt, but she had run off.

He saw her crossing the highway, and she was caught. Rooney, who had gotten facial injuries from the crash, was taken to a hospital where, Groody said, she refused chemical testing.

The crash jarred loose the walls and an area of ceiling in his dining room, Groody said.

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