Arizona auto accident leads to criminal charges against mother

A 29-year-old mother is facing serious criminal charges in connection with an Arizona car crash that occurred between Phoenix and Flagstaff earlier this year. She remains in jail on a $15,000 bond after her arrest on Thursday.

ABC15 reported on Thursday that the woman is accused of driving under the influence of drugs and causing the Skull Valley car accident.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said she was driving a 1997 Ford Mustang with two children in the car, ages 5 and 6, when she collided with a Chevy truck driven by a 71-year-old Yarnell man.

The woman was flown to a Phoenix hospital with injuries to her legs and upper body; the daughter was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital with head injuries. Her son was treated at Yavapai Regional Medical Center. The pickup truck’s driver, who had recently undergone open heart surgery, was flown to a hospital with severe chest pains.

Authorities report a traffic investigation clearly determined the woman was at fault in the accident, having driven left of center before colliding with the truck; her blood tested positive for a substantial amount of methamphetamine/amphetamines through lab testing conducted by the Department of Public Safety.

She now faces charges of aggravated DUI, child abuse, aggravated assault and felony criminal damage. Her 5-year-old daughter, who was home at the time of her arrest, was taken into custody by Child Protective Services.

Nationwide, about one-third of all traffic fatalities result from a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs; 11,773 motorists were killed in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Arizona, 343 of 937 traffic fatalities were blamed on impaired drivers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently reported that the number of women arrested for driving while impaired has increased by 30 percent in the last decade, even as the number of men arrested has declined slightly.

You can learn more about the increase in DUI among women by reading the CNN report.