Woman agrees to skip grand jury procedure

Published 12:30 pm Friday, May 4, 2012

An Ashland, Ky., woman whose vehicle was hit by a train waived her right to a preliminary hearing, through her defense attorney Warren Morford, in the Ironton Municipal Court Thursday.

Sacha N. Dees, 34, of 2604 Monroe St, faces charges of inducing panic and interference with the operation of a train after she parked her van on train tracks, which was hit by an oncoming train Sunday evening.

Through a bill of information, the case will not go to a grand jury. She will appear in the Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Wednesday.

Email newsletter signup

Morford plans to file a motion to have Dees psychologically evaluated by a mental health expert.

The attorney said he will build his defense around reason of insanity.

On Sunday, Dees drove her van to the railroad crossing at the Coal Grove boat ramp, according to Coal Grove Police Chief Eric Spurlock. She parked the vehicle on the tracks, exited with two dogs and went up the tracks toward the Ashland Bridge. Dees then sat down in the middle of the railroad tracks, holding the dogs.

Coal Grove Police, assisted by Ironton Police, took the woman into custody. According to Spurlock, at that time she did not cooperate with the police and resisted arrest.

The van was locked with the motor running and the eastbound train hit the vehicle, coming within a few hundred feet of hitting the woman before it stopped. Dees initially faced several other charges but they were not formally filed in court.

(Editor’s note: Based on information provided by law enforcement, it was initially reported that the train came within a few feet of hitting Dees. However, statements by CSX employees indicate the train was approximately 300 feet away before it stopped. We regret the error and are happy to correct it.)