A woman accused of being drunk and high on marijuana when she drove into the Fox River at Eureka last weekend, killing her 8-month-old son, has had her arraignment.
Kayla B. Westenberger, 27, was charged with first-degree reckless homicide, child neglect resulting in death and homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. Officials say she crashed her car while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and then left the scene while her son remained trapped inside the mostly submerged vehicle.
The suspect, who is pregnant, faces a maximum penalty of 131 years in prison as a repeat offender. The District attorney also reportedly cited previous drug-related convictions and history of bail jumping in both bond and charges filed. She has reportedly been convicted two other times for drunken driving as well as possession of drug paraphernalia and theft of moveable property.
Westenberger was arrested her at a friend's residence after emergency crews found her son earlier that night dead inside her partially submerged sport utility vehicle. The cause of his death was consistent with drowning.
Reports say that Westenberger somehow drove the car into the water at the boat landing, but has stated she doesn't remember the incident, according to reports. She then reportedly went to a friend's house, changed out of her wet clothes and went to sleep. Her husband later found the car in the water and called police.
Situations don't always have endings this tragic, but experts in dealing with similar situations are helpful in giving direction to families of accidental injury and death victims. The Jimmy Doan Law Firm has extensive experience in personal injury and wrongful death accidents and can assist any family suffering loss or injury. Contact the Doan Law Firm, P.C., led by Houston personal injury attorney Jimmy Doan, at 1 Riverway, Suite 1700, Houston, Texas 77056, (713) 869-4747 or (800) 910-FIRM.