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(9 AM) Woman Seriously Injured In Tuesday Night Crash

A woman was airlifted to an Erie, Pa., was back and head injuries following a crash late Tuesday on Route 394 in Kennedy. The driver of the vehicle involved is facing multiple charges. Photo by the New York State Police

KENNEDY — A woman was flown to a nearby hospital with serious injuries following a crash late Tuesday.

According to Capt. Eric Balon of the New York State Police, the woman — 53-year-old Hope Raichlin — was a backseat passenger in a vehicle that struck a guardrail on Route 394 around 9:24 p.m. Raichlin, who was reportedly not wearing a seat belt, was thrown into the front seat and struck the windshield, Balon said.

Raichlin, no address given, was flown by helicopter to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pa., with a broken back and severe head trauma.

The driver of the vehicle, 36-year-old Haley Jimerson, told police she fell asleep and drifted off the road when she struck the guardrail head-on. Jimerson allegedly admitted to police to taking methamphetamine earlier in the evening.

Jimerson is facing charges of driving while ability impaired by drugs, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and leaving lane unsafely. A second-degree vehicular assault charge is pending, Balon said.

Jimerson and another passenger, 30-year-old Zackery Raichlin, were taken by ambulance to UPMC Chautauqua for treatment of minor injuries. Once released from the hospital, Jimerson is scheduled to be arraigned in Poland Town Court.

Firefighters from Kennedy, Falconer and Ellington responded to the scene Tuesday.