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Friday, May 24, 2024

Woman headed to prison in fatal hit-and-run on Rolling Acres Road

Tara Rene Schiessle
Tara Rene Schiessle

A woman is headed to prison after a hit-and-run crash on Rolling Acres Road killed a 40-year-old pedestrian.

Tara Rene Schiessle, 32, of Lady Lake, pleaded no contest on Monday in Lake County Court to charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving death and leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injury. The former Lake Centre for Rehab physical therapist assistant has been sentenced to three years in state prison to be followed by three years of probation. Court records indicate the prosecutor’s office waived a four-year minimum mandatory sentence as part of the plea deal. A charge of insurance fraud was also dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Schiessle originally reported to her insurance company that she’d hit a deer on the night of Sept. 11, 2022. However, an investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol revealed that Schiessle’s silver Jeep Cherokee Sport hit 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.

A sign on Rolling Acres Road is calling for 22Justice for Jamie.22
A sign on Rolling Acres Road called for “Justice for Jamie.”

Within 12 hours, Schiessle 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.

Skidmarks are still visible on the roadway.
Skid marks were visible for months on Rolling Acres Road where 40-year-old Jamie Weinz was struck and killed.

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.

For many months a sign calling for “Justice for Jamie” could be seen by the side of the road at the scene of the fatal hit-and-run crash. Schiessle was arrested on May 18, 2023, nearly eight months after Weinz’s death.

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