A 44-year-old woman from St. Louis is accused of several drunk driving offenses after she allegedly caused two wrong-way crashes on Highway 40/61. The accidents happened on Oct. 13, according to local law enforcement, when the woman was found injured after causing the two accidents. She has been charged with felony counts of intoxicated assault causing injury, along with misdemeanor assault and careless operation of a motor vehicle.

The woman reportedly caused a serious accident during the early morning hours on Oct. 13, when she struck a vehicle driven by a 61-year-old St. Charles man. That victim sustained a multitude of serious injuries, including broken arms, ankles and ribs. He also sustained a tear to one of his lungs and a broken femur, a life-threatening injury on its own. The man also suffered several dislocated toes and a laceration that required eight stitches.

Investigators determined that the woman was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes. Both drivers attempted to brake and swerve, but they still hit head-on. The suspect was found unresponsive in her vehicle, allegedly with a bottle of vodka in full view of police officers. Her blood alcohol content registered at 0.149 percent, which is just less than twice the legal limit.

In addition to the main crash, the woman narrowly avoided striking another vehicle earlier in her drive. Her actions caused that driver to swerve and plunge off the side of the road. It is not clear whether those victims sustained injuries in that accident.

Media reports have not indicated whether the woman has entered a plea in connection with the accident. It appears as though local authorities have a great deal of condemning evidence tying the woman to the case, not the least of which is her elevated blood alcohol content. The woman could choose to plead guilty in the case in hopes of receiving clemency during sentencing. Prosecutors could choose to drop or lessen some of the charges against her in exchange for a guilty plea.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Wrong-way driver charged with assault, careless driving in Lincoln County crash," Susan Weich, March 4, 2013.