Former Big Brother 3 houseguest Tonya Paoni — now known as Tonya Casper — has been charged with reckless homicide after allegedly causing a car crash last summer that left two people dead. Police arrested Casper on May 27 on charges of reckless homicide, DUI and several other charges.
Police allege that Casper was driving under the influence at high speed west of Springfield, Illinois on July 17 when she rear-ended an SUV driven by Zachary E. Barnes. Barnes then lost control of his vehicle, which ran into the median on Interstate 72 and flipped multiple times. A passenger in his car, Cameron S. Weider, was thrown from the vehicle and killed.
Another passenger in Barnes’ car, Eric J. Finneran, exited the rolled-over SUV and was standing in the highway when another car swerved to avoid him. That car collided with another vehicle, causing a second wreck. A fifth car became involved in the pile-up when it pulled over to avoid those two vehicles, but struck Finneran as he was still standing in the highway. Finneran also died at the scene.
Tonya Casper has been charged with reckless homicide in the death of Cameron S. Weider, the passenger in the SUV she hit who died after being ejected from the car. She is also charged with being responsible for the death of Eric J. Finneran because the initial crash allegedly began the serious of events that caused his death.
Casper faces charges of two counts of aggravated reckless conduct, two counts of aggravated reckless driving and speeding in addition to the reckless homicide and DUI charges.
Casper, known then by the name Tonya Paoni, was a houseguest on Big Brother 3 in 2002. She was the second contestant evicted from the show.