Fayette County

Driver of SUV that crashed into Kohl's pleads not guilty

The driver of a sport-utility vehicle that crashed into a Kohl's department store last month pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of driving under the influence, wanton endangerment and criminal mischief.

While police were searching the SUV, they discovered that the driver, Whitney Lochmueller, 29, was missing 23 pills from a bottle of prescription pain relievers that was filled the day before the crash, according to court documents.

The pain reliever, tramadol, can cause seizures even in prescribed doses, according to the makers of Ultram and Ultram ER, which contain tramadol.

Lochmueller's 6-year-old twin siblings were in the vehicle when it hit a Toyota occupied by Melissa and Richard McQueen and their 4-year-old son and then crashed into Kohl's in Hamburg. The McQueens were treated at the scene.

Lochmueller and her family did not acknowledge reporters as they left Fayette District Court Tuesday. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Aug. 26.

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