The woman charged with causing a crash that killed two Warwick High School students and injured another had her driver’s license medically recalled in 2013 and later reinstated, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing Monday.
Under cross examination, a police officer also said Debra Slaymaker-Walker, 63, had a seizure in the back of an ambulance after the October crash in Lititz.
Slaymaker-Walker faces charges of third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and related offenses. While announcing the charges in December, Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman declined to go into detail about Slaymaker-Walker's medical history.
He called her driving purposeful, evasive and effective, not consistent “with somebody that has lost control of their vehicle because of any type of medical condition.”
Jack R. Nicholson, 16, and Meghan Keeney, 17, died from injuries suffered in the multi-vehicle, Oct. 26 crash outside their high school. A third student, 17-year-old Rylan Beebe, was seriously injured.
Slaymaker-Walker, who was injured in the crash, remains at home on $1 million unsecured bail.
Slaymaker-Walker answered the door of her Mount Joy home Wednesday. She declined to comment, saying she cannot talk about the case right now.
During the Monday hearing, Lititz Borough police Sgt. Jared Hahn affirmed that medical records that officers reviewed after the crash stated Slaymaker-Walker was in a state of seizure in the ambulance.
Hahn also affirmed that Slaymaker-Walker's license was medically recalled in 2013 and reinstated sometime after that. The medical reason for the recall did not come up during the hearing. She was licensed to drive at the time of the October crash, Hahn said.
Stedman's spokesman, Brett Hambright, declined Wednesday to comment on why Slaymaker-Walker's medical history was not discussed at a December news conference.
In a brief statement, he said the office filed the third-degree murder charges “in consideration of all information.”
“The district judge determined prima facie was established at the hearing,” Hambright said. “Prima facie” is a legal term for evidence being sufficient enough to prove a case in a trial unless there is enough evidence otherwise.
At the hearing, Slaymaker-Walker's defense attorney, Chris Tallarico, said her behavior was involuntary and asked District Judge Edward Tobin to dismiss the criminal charges.
Assistant District Attorney Jared Hinsey said the testimony from officers showed the malice needed for prosecution. Tobin ordered the case to continue on to county court.
LNP staff writer Carter Walker contributed to this report.