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Driver in double fatal crash battled addiction

Bound for methadone clinic when SUV jumped curb
Posted at 6:51 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 18:56:19-04

A doting grandmother and a five-year-old girl in a stroller out for a morning walk when an SUV jumped the curb mowing them down.

"It's been really tough,” said Joe Hartnett, “My wife and I, both, still have the image of the little girl lying there and the grandmother."  

It happened on the sidewalk in front of Hartnett's house on Girdwood Road, and that's where he encountered the driver, 22-year-old Callie Schwarzman.

"She was in shock, but then again, she had the awareness to tell me that her power steering was out, which from what I hear, that's not the case,” said Hartnett, “She was under the influence.  She was not completely out of her mind.  She was a quick thinker, but she was also screaming and yelling and kneeling, and then the male passenger with her---he was kind of in a daze."
While Schwarzman also told police the rain and bald tires on the vehicle contributed to the crash, investigators turned their attention to what condition she was in.

"We suspected immediately that she had been driving under the influence,” said Baltimore County Police Officer Jennifer Peach, “Of course, we're not able to release that information until we gathered a little bit more evidence, but what we found at the time was she did have some items inside that vehicle that could indicate that she'd either been drinking and driving or under the influence of drugs and driving."
According to charging document, Schwarzman told police she was on her way to a methadone clinic at the time of the crash, and the former addict had overdosed four time in four years before seeking help.
She also admitted to consuming wine coolers, taking a pain killer and smoking a bowl of marijuana the night before. 
Schwarzman, it turns out, was still on probation for a DWI in Carroll County last year and had since had repeated encounters with police for driving on a restricted or suspended license, even leaving the scene of an accident after one such incident.

"I think it begs the question,” said Peach, “'Did the judicial system do enough, based on the things that she has done in the past or been charged with in the past or convicted of in the past, to prevent what happened on Monday?’"
Armed with a search warrant, police later found two empty six-ounce bottles of wine, residue-laden straws and a brownish-green substance in the vehicle, which has been sent to the forensics lab for analysis.