Young mom's life changed forever by alleged drugged driver

John A. Pavoncello
  • Miller was in a medically induced coma for about a week after the crash.

It was Aug. 10, just another afternoon for Cheyann Miller, a working mother of two and a model.

Then in a flash, the unthinkable happened.

A 2007 Saturn Ion — driven by a Newberry Township man who police say had ingested four bags of heroin — crashed into the then-28-year-old Miller while she was unloading groceries from her Chevy Suburban in front of her home on Roosevelt Avenue in York City.

Tyler James Connelly, 25, of 700 Cassell Road, Apt. 27, didn't swerve or brake before the 4 p.m. crash, according to police, who said Connelly and a passenger were high after using some of the 10 bags of heroin they had bought earlier that day in York City.

Connelly is charged with aggravated assault, aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, causing an accident that resulted in death or injury while not properly licensed, aggravated assault by vehicle, careless driving and driving with a suspended license. His formal arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 28.

Miller, a child-care provider, had just returned minutes earlier from taking the children in her charge on a field trip to Snyder’s of Hanover when Connelly's car smashed her legs between the two vehicles.

“I remember being hit, I remember falling to the ground screaming,” said Miller. “I just kept screaming as loud as I could, and Keith (Finke, Cheyann’s fiance) came running out of the garage.”

Miller was in a medically induced coma for about a week after the crash. She woke to find her right leg missing.

“I did die on the table for 23 minutes,” Miller said.

"The doctors cut open right here,” she said, pointing under her left arm. Doctors “went under my ribs and pumped my heart with their hand.”

Doctors decided to take Miller’s right leg after infection set in. Her left leg was also severely damaged, and she still doesn’t have feeling in her foot.

More than two months after the accident, Miller is at WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital, where she has daily physical rehab to learn to live with one leg missing and the other unusable.

All she wants to do is get home to her children, Miller said, adding she's thankful for all the support she has received so far.

“The love and support that has been there is just wonderful, but I would love for the prayers to continue until I heal,” she said.

Several fundraisers have been set up for Miller to help offset not only her loss of income from several months of not working but also to help with the mounting medical bills she is facing.

An all-you-can-eat shrimp feed is planned for Saturday, Oct. 29, at Union Fire Co. No. 1 in Manchester; contact Jenna Wampler at (717) 353-3090 or stop by Coomb’s Tavern, 475 Pennsylvania Ave., for tickets. Coomb’s Tavern also is  accepting gift card and monetary donations for Cheyann and her family. A GoFundMe account has been set up at: