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Police allege that Lakeside High student was driving under influence before fatal crash

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Police allege that Lakeside High student was driving under influence before fatal crash

Lakeside High School. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Atlanta, GA — A Lakeside High student is facing at least one criminal charge in connection with a Feb. 24 crash that caused the death of another student.

According to reports obtained by Decaturish, DeKalb County Police believe that the driver was under the influence of alcohol when the crash occurred.

Police confirmed on March 4 that the driver, identified as Hannah Hackemeyer, 18, was arrested at the scene of the crash and taken to the DeKalb County Jail to have her blood drawn. She was then transported to Grady and released to her parents. But a police spokesperson said that following her arrest she was not booked into the DeKalb County Jail. Her arrest doesn’t appear in the DeKalb County jail records available online.

A spokesperson for DeKalb Police explained why she wasn’t booked into the jail following the crash.

“After completing the blood draw, a decision was made to release the driver rather than have officers provide a security detail at the hospital considering all we had at the time was a misdemeanor charge,” the spokesperson said. “Our Traffic Specialist Unit will complete their investigation before filing all charges and obtaining warrants. Once the investigation is finished, then warrants will be taken out for all charges if deemed appropriate.”

According to the arrest report, she is being charged with driving under the influence. Due to the death of her passenger, there may be other charges as well. The DeKalb County Police Department declined to release supplementary records from the crash, including transcripts of witness interviews, due to the ongoing investigation.

“After reviewing this open records request, it has been determined that the case number provided in your Open Records Request involves a pending prosecution and/or part of an open investigation and are exempt from disclosure,” a paralegal for the police department said.

The crash occurred around midnight on Feb. 24 in the Oak Grove community.

“[DeKalb Police] responded to Oak Grove Road near Kirkland Drive on Feb. 24 around midnight in reference to a single vehicle accident,” a spokesperson for the police department said. “The driver and her two passengers were transported to an area hospital with various injuries. One of the passengers later succumbed to her injuries.”

The passenger who died was identified as an 18-year-old Lakeside High student. The student’s family has asked that their name be withheld from publication. Another student in the vehicle was injured. All three students involved in the crash are Lakeside High students.

Records show Hackemeyer was driving a 2016 Mazda CX-5.

“Upon arrival, I observed the vehicle overturned, and one female was trapped inside the vehicle with life-threatening injuries,” the investigator wrote.

The investigator saw an open bottle of wine inside the vehicle. According to the report, Hackemeyer allegedly told the investigator she was driving from the gas station and swerved, hitting a sign and losing control of the vehicle. The investigator “noticed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from her person.”

“I asked how old she was, and she stated that she was 18,” the investigator wrote. “I asked if she was hurt, and she stated that she had some scratches. I observed her walking around but did not observe any visible serious injuries. I asked if she had consumed any alcoholic beverages, and she stated that she had wine.”

The investigator wrote in his report that he was unable to complete a roadside DUI evaluation because Hackemeyer was too worried about her friends inside the vehicle, the report says.

“I asked her to provide a breath sample into a portable breathalyzer, and she agreed, which indicated a positive result for alcohol,” the investigator wrote. “Based on my observations, the admission of her drinking alcohol and the open container inside the vehicle and that she is under 21, I am seeking a search warrant for her blood due to the passengers in the vehicle having life-threatening injuries …”

The investigator told Hackemeyer she would be charged with driving under the influence, the report says. She was then taken to the county jail.

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