NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBS 2) – An Orange County mother, driving with her four children in her van, crashed into a tree Tuesday night. Now, police say she was not only intoxicated, but she was way beyond the legal limit.
Instead of being at their home in Newburgh, the four young children are now in the care of grandparents. Their mother, 20-year-old Michele Reyes, was arrested, charged with driving drunk with her kids in the car.
“She put them in harm’s way, in one of the most horrendous ways I’ve ever seen,” Lieutenant Thomas Maslanka, of the Warwick Police Department, said.
Reyes was with her children, ages 6, 5, 4, and 18 months, at the time of the crash. It happened Tuesday night on Lakes Road in Greenwood Lake when Reyes’ van swerved off the road, through a front yard, and slammed into a tree.
The minivan sustained significant front end damage, and the driver’s side airbag deployed. Police say Reyes was quite drunk.
“She indicated at the scene that she’d drunk a pint of vodka prior to driving,” Lt. Maslanka said. “Her blood alcohol content, when we got her back to the station, was .27.”
That’s three times the legal limit, and all while four children were in the car.
Dietmar Schultz lives near the scene of the accident.
“One of the girls, she got hurt because she was in the front seat without a seatbelt on,” Schultz said.
Police also say one child was in an unapproved safety seat, while the other three were in no safety seats at all.
Reyes was charged with not one count of driving while intoxicated but four counts – one for each child in the van.
Police say the injuries to the children were mostly bumps and bruises. Reyes was held on $25,000 bond.