Racine Police say a 27-year-old woman drove drunk over the weekend and caused an accident that severely injured a 10-year-old girl.
Areceli Espino-Ramirez was charged Wednesday in Racine County Circuit Court with the following charges:
- Injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle (2)
- Knowingly operating a vehicle while suspended (2)
- Hit-and-run causing injury (6)
- Causing injury/operating a vehicle while under the influence (4)
If convicted of all charges, Espino-Ramirez faces up to 42 years in prison and/or up to $148,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, Espino-Ramirez was driving drunk at 11:55 p.m. Saturday when she struck a vehicle turning south onto Memorial Drive from 16th Street. After causing the accident, she fled from the scene, and police had to tackle her to the ground when she refused to stop running.
Officers say the defendant was driving a silver Dodge pickup and had two passengers. The person in the front seat hit their head so hard on the windshield there was skin embedded in the glass. One of the passengers told police they were with Espino-Ramirez and another person and that he and Espino-Ramirez had between five and seven beers each after they drove into Racine. She refused to let him drive when they left the residence, and the man said he saw the red light and warned Espino-Ramirez to stop, but she accelerated instead.
There were six people in the other car, and all of them suffered injuries that included lacerations to their extremities, severe pain in several locations along the left sides of their bodies, cuts and bruises, the complaint reads. A 10-year-old girl suffered what is described as a brain bleed and a broken arm, so she was taken by Flight for Life to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. At the time the incident report was written, the girl was listed in critical condition in the ICU because of a “medical incident” she suffered in the helicopter.
Police say Espino-Ramirez admitted that she was driving the truck and causing the accident while not having a valid driver’s license. Officers obtained a search warrant for a legal blood draw, the results of which were not available at the time the incident report was prepared.
Espino-Ramirez remains in the Racine County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond and ordered to submit a DNA sample. She will next be in court Sept. 16 for her preliminary hearing.
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