A bogus insurance claim led to the arrest of a physical therapist in The Villages in a 2022 hit-and-run fatality on Rolling Acres Road.
The release of an arrest affidavit is shedding light on the night of Sept. 11 when 31-year-old Tara Rene Schiessle allegedly hit and killed 40-year-old Jamie Weinz as she was walking along Rolling Acres Road, not far from American Legion Post 347. Her male companion was also hit and was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.
Schiessle, who was arrested last week by the Florida Highway Patrol, had been at the wheel of a silver Jeep Cherokee Sport when she “drove off the roadway” and hit the two pedestrians. Instead of stopping, the Lake Centre for Rehab physical therapist assistant kept driving to her home at The Parker at East Village Apartments behind Lowe’s in Lady Lake, according to the arrest affidavit.
Within 12 hours, she contacted her insurance company and claimed she’d hit a deer. Investigators obtained an audio recording of the initial call to the insurance company and noted that Schiessle appeared to sound nervous. She never contacted law enforcement.
Four days after Weinz had been declared dead at the scene of the Rolling Acres Road hit-and-run crash, FHP investigators received an anonymous tip that the vehicle they were looking for was in the parking lot of Schiessle’s apartment complex. The vehicle was impounded and a blood sample was taken from the front of the vehicle. Ultimately, the blood sample was determined to be a match for Weinz.
Weinz’s companion that night later told investigators they had been walking to Wawa at U.S. Hwy. 27/441 at County Road 466 in Lady Lake. He said Weinz was walking behind him when they were hit. He said the vehicle stopped momentarily, but even after he yelled at the driver, she kept going.
The lab results conclusively linking Schiessle’s vehicle to Weinz’s blood sample finally was made available to investigators this past Wednesday, Schiessle was taken into custody the following day. She remains free on $42,000 bond.