Six people in a sport-utility vehicle — five of them children — were seriously or critically injured in a crash on Interstate 75 in Pasco County early Monday morning that the Florida Highway Patrol said was caused by an “impaired and tired driver.”
The crash occurred about 2:15 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I-75 approaching mile post 289. Ashley Clairmonte, 26, of Tampa, was driving a 2015 Buick Encore, but was impaired and tired and stopped in the inside lane, troopers said in a news release.
The driver of a 2004 Chevy Tracker hit the Buick from behind. The Buick overturned and the Chevy rotated into the outside lane.
Troopers said Clairmonte ran away from the scene into a nearby tree line. She later returned after troopers arrived and was arrested on charges of DUI with serious injury and leaving the scene of a crash. She was taken to the Pasco County Jail.
Troopers said the 24-year-old woman driving the Chevy was from Philadelphia, as were the five children in the vehicle with her — a 10-year-old girl, a 6-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl.
The 1-year-old suffered critical injuries, while the woman and all the other children were seriously injured.
Troopers said only the driver and the 10-year-old girl were restrained in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
No other details, including the names of the woman and children, were released.
(Credit: Tampa Bay Times)