Springfield Woman Crashes Van with 3 Kids Inside, Arrested for OUI
EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — A Springfield woman is facing child endangerment and other charges after police say she was driving drunk and crashed her car, with three children in the car.
According to a police report, Easthampton Police responded to the intersection of Little and West Streets around 7:15 p.m. Sunday for a report of an accident.
When officers arrived, they found a Dodge Caravan had gone off the road and crashed into some bushes, causing heavy front end damage.
Officer Nathan Sansouci writes in the report that when he arrived, Officer Rick Rogalski indicated he had spoken to two witnesses who stated that they believed the driver, identified as police as 29-year-old Meghan Pastomerlo of Springfield, had been drinking and there were children inside the van.
After Pastomerlo indicated to officers that she was okay following the crash, Sansouci looked inside the van to check on the children. He reports seeing three young children, who ranged in age from newborn to three-and-a-half years old, seated in child safety seats inside the van.
When asked if she hurt anywhere, the three-and-a-half year old girl grabbed her forehead and reportedly said that she “bumped her head,” according to Sansouci’s report.
The report notes that at one point, Pastomerlo took the newborn out of the seat and into her arms to comfort her. Sansouci writes that “while holding the newborn. Pastomerlo lost her balance and fell into the driver side door nearly dropping the baby.”
Sansouci says he then instructed Pastomerlo to put the child back in her seat until an ambulance arrived.
As paramedics attended to the children, Pastomerlo allegedly said that another car was heading down West Street and hit her car. However, Sansouci says that she could not explain the location of the other car or where it came from.
“All Pastomerlo would say was “a car hit me.” I asked Pastomerlo, a second time, if she was the operator of the vehicle and she stated “yes,”" Sansouci writes in the report.
Sansouci smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Pastomerlo’s breath, and when asked if she had been drinking, Pastomerlo replied “yes” and told the officer that she had had “two beers and a shot.”
Pastomerlo told police that when the crash occurred, she was coming from “a friend’s house in Florence.”
A breath test and three field sobriety test were administered, and after those indicated that Pastomerlo was impaired, Sansouci placed her under arrest.
Pastomerlo is being charged with operating under the influence (liquor), marked lanes violation, and child endangerment while OUI.
Following a court appearance Monday, bail for Pastomerlo was set at $250, which she posted. She is due back in court on December 12.
Officers also contacted Pastomerlo’s mother, who took custody of the children following the crash.
The state’s Department of Children and Families was also notified of the incident.