A West Virginia woman was held for Greene County Court on charges that she was driving drunk and responsible for the death of a passenger who climbed onto the roof of her vehicle while it was moving, fell off and died.
Kersten Zoe Kisner, 20, of Glen Easton had a blood-alcohol level of .108 when Ryan Lohr, 21, of Wind Ridge fell from the roof of her Ford Mustang at 1:20 a.m. Oct. 16, 2019 and was hit by another vehicle, state police contended.
Daniel Hevener told police he was driving eastbound on Route 21 in Franklin Township, Greene County when he saw Kisner’s vehicle coming toward him.
He testified at Kisner’s preliminary hearing on April 21 that the vehicle was partly in his lane and quickly moved back into its own lane when he got closer. That’s when he saw a blur coming from the roof of the Mustang and felt a thud, Hevener said.
Hevener testified he and the Mustang both pulled to the side, and he called 911. That’s when he said he saw what he hit.
“I saw Ryan’s body lying on the ground behind my vehicle,” Hevener testified. “They (Kisner and the other passengers of the other vehicle) were screaming … and asking if he was OK and he wasn’t answering. Then it was pretty apparent what happened.”
Kisner’s defense attorney, Christopher Blackwell, argued there was not enough evidence to hold charges of homicide by vehicle for court. He contended Lohr’s death occurred because he climbed on the roof of the vehicle, not because of Kisner’s driving.
“She didn’t encourage it. She didn’t promote it,” he said.
Magisterial District Judge Glenn Bates denied Blackwell’s request to dismiss the case, instead sending charges of homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while DUI, involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment to common pleas court.
Kisner remains free on an unsecured bond of $50,000. Her formal arraignment is scheduled for May 24.