Fleeing the Scene Charges on top of OWI
Drunk driving is dangerous. Everyone knows that. But situations like this, tragic and terrible as they are, serve to drive that point home in terrifying ways that statistics and discussions just cannot do. Being warned of the dangers of getting behind the wheel after too many beers never has the same effect as hearing about a drunk driver who hits a child and then flees the scene.
Allen Park Police responded to a situation late at night, where a child had apparently been struck by a passing car that did not stop after the collision. According to the child, an 11-year-old girl, she was standing next to her sister’s car, about to open the rear door, when a car came out of nowhere at high speed and hit her.
She had been unable to see the vehicle coming, she explained, because it had no headlights at the time. Police noted that her right leg showed serious bruising and a deep laceration. It was determined that, although she was crying and in pain, her leg was most likely not broken as she was able to bear weight and walk around on it.
According to the victim’s sister, the car that had stuck the girl was a green Chrysler Sebring, which she said was traveling at about double the posted speed limit for that street. Police posted an alert, and a vehicle matching that description was found a little later. Damage to the front was apparently consistent with reports of what had taken place.
The officers who confronted the vehicle owner, 36-year-old Kellean Marie Lakatos, said that she smelled strongly of alcohol and was visibly drunk. Lakatos admitted that she had recently driven home from the bar, but had no memory of striking someone.
According to the arresting officers, she submitted to a breathalyzer test, the results of which showed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .22, which is considerably higher than Michigan’s legal limit of .08. It is also considerably higher than the state’s “super drunk” limit of .17, which may mean increased penalties and higher fines.
Lakatos was arrested for Operating Under the Influence, and also for leaving the scene of an accident. She has allegedly already been convicted of drunk driving on one prior occasion, so that may affect the nature and severity of the charges she is facing.
Thankfully in this case, the child who was struck did not lose her life, and will likely recover from the incident with little beyond a physical scar. But the fact remains, this could have been much more awful, with results that were far more permanent. And far more tragic. And so we cannot stress this enough, please be careful when drinking, and remember to always call a cab or choose a designated driver.