BALLWIN, Mo. — A driver has been charged after hitting a woman and then crashing into the urgent care building where she worked in west St. Louis County. Police said shortly before the fatal crash, the driver was involved with "huffing" fumes.
Monday morning, Ballwin police announced Trenton Geiger, a 20-year-old man from Chesterfield, was charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter, inhalation of solvent fumes and tampering with physical evidence.
Police said at about 8:15 p.m. Sunday he was driving northbound on Clarkson Road when he crossed into the southbound lanes, hit a tree and then hit a woman who was standing outside the Total Access Urgent Care in Ballwin. Geiger’s Honda Pilot then crashed into the urgent care building.
The view at the scene showed the SUV halfway into the main entrance of the building. The urgent care clinic had closed about 15 minutes before the crash happened.
The woman Geiger hit was identified as Marissa Politte. She was rushed to a nearby hospital for life-saving treatment but died from her injuries. She was 25 years old and from Ballwin. Politte worked as a radiology technologist at Total Access Urgent Care since 2018, the company confirmed Monday.
Politte had just left work when she was hit, TAUC said. The company called her death a "heartbreaking loss."
"Marissa Politte... has been consistently dedicated, universally compassionate, and kind to everyone lucky enough to meet her," Total Access Urgent Care said in a statement emailed to 5 On Your Side. "Marissa remained unwaveringly committed to the communities we serve both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic."
“The Ballwin Police Department sends its heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Ms. Politte,” Ballwin police wrote in a news release Monday morning.
Police said Geiger stayed at the scene and cooperated with officers. He was arrested and taken into custody.
Ballwin police spokesman Scott Stevens confirmed with 5 On Your Side that Geiger is suspected of "huffing" some fumes out of some kind of can shortly before the fatal crash.
"It is a charge involved with huffing and the tampering of the evidence was involved with removing items from that crime," Stevens said Monday.
Geiger was found unconscious behind the wheel but woke up, grabbed lime green "whip it" cartridges from his vehicle and then ran to throw those items in a wooded area, according to charging documents.