Judge orders competency evaluation of Cuyahoga Falls woman charged in fatal crash that killed Stow-Munroe Falls High graduate

Stephanie Warsmith
Akron Beacon Journal
Tyler Williams

A Summit County judge ordered a competency evaluation Monday of a Cuyahoga Falls woman charged in a wrong-way crash that left a Stow-Munroe Falls High School graduate dead.

Stacy McGowan, the attorney, for Katy Hite, requested the evaluation. She said Hite suffered traumatic brain injuries in the crash last November.

“It appears that her mental status is such that she is unable to meaningfully participate in her defense, or understand the nature and objective of the proceedings against her,” McGowan said in a recent motion.

The evaluation will be done by Summit County Psycho Diagnostic Clinic.

Police said Hite drove north in a southbound lane Nov. 27 on Route 8 in Cuyahoga Falls, struck a tractor-trailer and hit a car driven by Tyler Williams, 22, of Akron. Williams died from his injuries. 

An obituary for Williams said he was born in Cuyahoga Falls and was a graduate of Stow-Munroe Falls High School. He worked at Lammlein Construction.

Hite also was injured in the crash and had to be extricated from her vehicle. This delayed her ability to be interviewed by police and to appear in court for her initial arraignment.

Hite is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, second- and third-degree felonies, and operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a first-degree misdemeanor. Blood work confirmed the presence of benzodiazepine, opiates and oxycodone, according to court records.

McGowan also requested a change of Hite’s bond to eliminate a requirement that she wear a GPS tracking device. She said the device is causing swelling to her client’s foot and ankle and she can’t have the monitor placed on her other ankle because of her injuries. She said Hite’s physical therapist expressed concerns about the swelling.

Croce said she will reconsider this request if she receives documentation about the physical therapist’s concern.

Hite will next have a pretrial hearing Sept. 14 before Croce.

Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com, 330-996-3705 and on Twitter: @swarsmithabj