Alleged Huffer Charged in Deadly Accident

Blood work shows driver had evidence of huffing and pot in her system: police

By Karen Araiza and Dan Stamm
|  Friday, Sep 11, 2009  |  Updated 11:53 AM EDT
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Alleged Huffer Charged in Deadly Accident

Upper Darby Police Department

Rachael Jankins has been charged with homicide by vehichle, involuntary manslaughter, aggrevated assult by auto, DUI, recklessly endangering another and other charges after she struck and killed Nicole Gallo outside of Delaware County Memorial Hospital.

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Police arrested a woman Thursday who was allegedly huffing an aerosol can and smoking pot before she lost control of her car, killing a woman outside Delaware County Hospital last month, according to officials.

Blood work showed that Rachel Jankins was under the influence of marijuana and huffing Dust-Off cleaner, according to Upper Darby police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

She was taken out of her house in handcuffs Thursday afternoon, Chitwood told NBC Philadelphia.

She faces a slew of charges including homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault by auto, DUI, reckless endangerment and related charges

Jankins, 20, was playing with her iPod on Aug. 14 when the Havertown woman's car crossed into oncoming traffic on Lansdowne Avenue, went up onto the sidewalk and slammed into Nicole Gallo and Christine Bochanski, authorities said. Gallo, 19, was killed and Bochanski, 20, was hospitalized.

“She claims she was fooling with an iPod in her car when she lost control of the vehicle and the next thing she knew the air bags were in her face. She never remembers hitting the woman or seeing the woman,” Chitwood said on the day of the accident.

Jankins ended up with minor injuries from being trapped in her car. There were no skid marks or evidence that she ever stepped on the brakes, accident investigators said.

Gallo's alma mater, Archbishop Prendergast High School, has set up a Scholarship Fund in her honor.

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