A woman killed last week after being run over repeatedly by motorists on I-71 either jumped or was thrown from a moving vehicle, Columbus police now say.
Police still aren’t certain why Jessica Lynn Nichols, 22, of Columbus, came out of the vehicle on Aug. 21 and tumbled into northbound lanes of the freeway just before 5 a.m., said Sgt. Brooke Wilson of the accident-investigation squad.
Police were called to the stretch of North Side freeway by a trucker who dialed 911 and said he thought he had struck a body in the road.
As he stayed on the line with the 911 dispatcher, other motorists inadvertently ran over Nichols, police said. She died at the scene.
Police now think eight motorists struck Nichols, but evidence shows she was alive when she left a vehicle traveling in the center lane, Wilson said.
Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said an autopsy confirmed that Nichols was killed by injuries sustained on the freeway.
Court records show that Nichols lived mostly on the Hilltop in recent years. She had a history of prostitution arrests, and police were investigating whether that may have played a role in her death.
By Theodore Decker - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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