A Clewiston woman was arrested last week for DUI and property damage after she allegedly crashed into a van while three young children sat in the back seat of her car, according to an arrest report released by the Clewiston Police Department.
At around 6:32 a.m. on July 2, officers responded to reports of a traffic crash at the intersection of Francisco and Sonora Avenues. When officers arrived, they reportedly found a green Mitsubishi sedan with minor dent damage and a white Dodge Caravan with its bumper laying on the ground.
Officers then attempted to speak with both drivers to get an account of what happened.
Officer Herrera spoke with the driver of the van, because he did not speak English, and translated for the other officers at the scene. According to the report, the driver of the van, 45-year-old Eddie Alberto Muniz Silva, told officers he was stopped at a stop sign when the sedan ran into the front of his van, then attempted to back up as if it were going to leave the scene. It is reported that Silva also told officers he chased after the other driver and took her keys so she could not leave the scene.
When officers began speaking with the driver of the sedan, they allegedly started to question her sobriety. Officers reportedly noticed that the driver, 32-year-old Erica Williams, was slurring her words and was having trouble focusing on direct questions. They also noted that Williams’ hair and clothes “appeared disheveled” and she was attempting to drink a gallon of milk which was spilling down her face and onto her shirt, according to the report.
Williams also had three small children in the back of her car at the time of the accident — a 10 year old, an eight year old and a 16 month old. Officers noted in the report that the children did not seem to be strapped down by any restraints. Williams’ uncle arrived shortly thereafter to drive both the car and the children to a relatives’ house.
Despite officers’ assumptions, Williams was adamant that she had not been drinking, had not taken anything and was not going to “say nothing” to the officers, according to the report. She allegedly refused to submit to Field Sobriety Exercises, was placed under arrest for driving under the influence and transported to the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, where she allegedly refused to take a breath test.
Williams was charged with DUI and property damage, as well as refusal to submit to a lawful breath test.
Silva, the driver of the van, was also arrested for driving without a valid license, but was released on scene with a notice to appear at the Hendry County Courthouse.