Driver Under The Influence Kills Pedestrians In Fatal Automobile Accident

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a story involving a Delaware County woman who struck two pedestrians on the morning of September 11th, killing one and severely injuring the other in a fatal car accident.

The article stated that twenty year-old Rachael Jankins from Havertown has been charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, involuntary manslaughter, and other related offenses connected to the accident.

Drugs and Car Accidents

She was allegedly huffing before her car hit nineteen year-old Nicole Gallo of Clifton Heights and twenty year-old Christine Bochanski of Lansdowne, killing Gallo on impact and forcing Bochanski to undergo surgery for a broken back. A can of Dust Destroyer was found in Jankins’ car when police searched it following the accident. Blood tests showed difluoroethane, a chemical in compressed air, and marijuana in Jankins’ bloodstream at the time of the accident.

She admitted to police that she had drunk whiskey and smoked marijuana the night before the accident. Jankins was taken to the Delaware County prison and her bail was set at $250,000.

Driving Under the Influence

Operating a motor vehicle “under the influence” encompasses a number of stimulants or depressants or propellants such as the ones found in aerosols. Normally a driver is charged with “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) when the illicit substance is alcohol while “driving under the influence” (DUI) refers to any number of other substances.


Both are serious offenses and can obviously lead to the sort of accident related above. Some legal substances such as sleep aids or pain medications may contain chemicals that would cause a driver to be considered “under the influence” if he were to be stopped by a police officer because they may potentially cause drowsiness or diminished reaction time while driving.


People should always check the warning labels on substances to make sure they do not contain such chemicals that could impair their driving and potentially cause automobile accidents.

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