Berlin Heights woman charged in fatal crash

Driver was allegedly texting before impact with motorcycle
Emil Whitis
Jan 27, 2013


Almost nine months after a fatal motorcycle wreck on Ohio 60, State Highway Patrol troopers arrested a Berlin Heights woman who was allegedly texting just before the collision. 
Rebecca Schroyer, 22, was charged with tampering with evidence and aggravated vehicular homicide — both felonies. 
Paul Hering, 61, was headed home on his 1987 Harley-Davidson after his morning cup of coffee at about 10:30 a.m. May 16. In the 3800 block of Ohio 60 he slowed to turn into his driveway. 
That’s when Schroyer’s PT Cruiser smashed into the back of the Harley. The force of impact catapulted Hering off his motorcycle. His body came to rest about 90 feet to the south of the wreck. 
When troopers showed up Hering was dead and the motorcycle was still standing upright — it’s rear-end embedded in the front of the PT Cruiser. 
Skid marks on the scene showed the Cruiser pushed the motorcycle about 90 feet after impact. 
When troopers talked to Schroyer she told them she’d been texting on her cellphone previous to the wreck, Patrol Sgt. Eric Short said. 
“In her statement she admitted to us that she deleted information from her phone,” Short said. 
A phone company later confirmed text messages had been deleted. 
Troopers seized Schroyer’s phone and sent it to Ohio State Highway Patrol headquarters in Columbus for analysis. 
For months, Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Joe Wentworth went round and round with phone companies and forensic techs in an attempt to retrieve the messages but didn’t get far. 
“We’ve been in conversation with the victim’s family,” Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Eric Short said. “It got to the point that we had to get something going.”
Troopers discussed charges with Vermilion Municipal Court prosecutor Margaret O’Bryon. Both parties agreed between Schroyer’s statement and the deleted text messages they had enough for charges. 
Schroyer was booked into the Erie County jail Thursday but later posted $26,000 bond and was released. 
The investigation remains open and troopers still hope to recover text messages from the phone, which is still in an evidence bag somewhere in Columbus.



If only I could say what I want to. But she is not worth getting the ban hammer over.


The man would likely be alive if he had been driving a car. All the commentators below use cellphones. If the article is correct the young woman is guilty of something everyone does and had the misfotune to have a variety of circumstances misalign. Can't wait for Bike Week.


I turn my cell phone OFF while driving. Who are you to group all as one?


The man would for sure be alive if she hadn't slammed into him so hard she embedded an 800# motorcycle into the front end of her car, then shoved it 90 feet down the road. The "if he had been driving a car" argument is a joke!

Trying to defend her is a ridiculous.

I can't wait for Bike Week either. There will be about 15-20 of us in our little group. And we always have fun!

The Answer Person

So you're saying it OK that she killed the guy while texting because everyone does it...right?
Just wanted to make sure I had it right.


@wired. You are one sick individual. Yeah lets blame the innocent guy and his motorcycle.


All of us who live under the Bike Week mentality could wind up in her shoes. If not texting then adjusting the radio, tending to your child, eating a burger... But I assume all of you don't listen to the radio or have passenger while staring straight ahead, hands at 10 and 2, pulling over at the slightest hint of inclement weather.

If he had been in a car he'd be alive and she'd be charged with a fender bender. Motorcyclists should assume the risks not ask for protected status. So yes the dead man bears the responsibility for his death, sorry but he chose to engage in an inherently risky activity.

Would these comments be so vehement if she had killed a bicyclist? No you'd be howling about how bicyclists should not be on the road.

Riding a motorcycle is just sad. Yeah, you are so young, tough, and cool, that you need society to provide you special protection like we do the disabled.

Hopefully the waste of taxpayer dollars known as Bike Week goes out of business soon, or moves to PC or Huron.

Any typos?


You are simply an idiot. Nothing more and a whole lot less.


What if HE was walking and crossing the street? Or a teenager on a bike? How about a mother pushing a stroller across the road? Would they be at fault and assuming all risk?

nosey rosey

Sorry, I do not talk on my phone nor text when I drive. Nothing is so important that it can't wait until I reach my destination.


Ten years hard labor. No mercy for idiots who text while driving.


My thoughts are a tad harsher than that.


Hope those texts were worth it.


She needs to go to prison a long time. Not 2-3 years or 5-8 years. Life for a life. She come out in a pine box at the end of her life.


I will second donutshopguys remarks!!!!


Third that!

Good 2 B Me

Me too!


Is there a fourth available?


i will forth that


Just use common sense!
I had a TX come in last night ater midnight while driving on the Turnpike about ten min before my exit. They just wanted to know if I was back safe, it took less than a minute to pull over after the toll booth and respond.

Now what about the person on the other end of that TX? Are they a little responsible for distracting the driver? I see another law coming or some sort of interlock. The problem is people not the technology!


That is stupid.. That is like saying if someone was drinking and driving and got into an accident the bar should be a little responsible.. Get real..


What's a matter with this system we have in this country??? She was texting while driving, not paying attention and killed someone. And she walks away for 26k? She needs life in prison.


Isnt it called vehicular manslaughter?

Swamp Fox

A person is charged with involuntary manslaughter when they have inflicted injury upon the victim, which causes the victim's death, but it can be established that the perpetrator did not intend to cause the death of the victim. Negligent homicide, however, is a homicide that occurs as the result of negligent act committed by the perpetrator, resulting in the victim's death. In this case its aggravated due to the texting.

LANDLORD the $26k is just her apperence bond, not the final penalty.


The smug look on her face is too much. Like she didn't do anything wrong.


She's mad cause she got caught texting, that's why she looks like that!


If you kill someone without meaning to, that's an accident. If you intend to kill somebody, that's murder. But if you kill somebody without the intent to kill them, but WHILE DOING SOMETHING YOU KNOW PERFECTLY WELL COULD KILL SOMEBODY, it seems to me that that, too, is as serious as murder. While stupid isn't always a crime, it needs to be when the results are this tragic and irreversible!

The real kicker here is that she knew immediately she was in the wrong. Else why did she delete the messages, eh? Tack on a few extra for that, please, and keep the woman off the roads for a good long time so her stupidity doesn't hurt anybody else!


If she had discharged a firearm and killed someone, without intent, what would be the charge?


Same thing. Gun safety 101: Never point a loaded gun at anything you don't intend to kill. Corollary: Every gun is ALWAYS loaded.

Granted, stupid accidents happen. But they wouldn't happen if the gun wasn't pointed where it ought not to have been! Just as ignorance is no excuse, neither is stupidity.

Remember some years ago the moron in Vermilion (I think) who blew his own head off? Put a gun he THOUGHT wasn't loaded into his mouth and pulled the trigger with his toe? Just like the bumper sticker says, "What are the last words of an idiot? Yo, look what I can do!" At least he didn't kill anybody else...

The only accidental shootings I can think of are dropping a gun which then discharges (very, VERY rare despite what the hoplophobes would have you think), and a shooting by a young child who has no clue what he's doing (and in those cases, it's the adult who should have prevented the kid from getting the gun who should be charged). I know there are a few other examples of true accidents, but you get the idea...


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