A Lexington woman told a police officer that she was on methadone when she crashed a car into a state transportation truck, injuring four children, including two of her own, according to court records.
Amber Brooke Whitaker, 35, of East Center Street in Lexington, is charged with driving while impaired and driving while her license was revoked.
Lexington police said in a news release that the crash happened just before 10 a.m. Tuesday on Fairview Drive. Whitaker was driving a 2010 Pontiac G6 south on Fairview when her vehicle hit the rear of a N.C. Department of Transportation Truck parked on the road. A DOT crew was removing storm debris at the time, police said.
Whitaker is accused of failing to stop for the DOT crew, whose truck was blocking one lane of travel, police said. Their vehicles were using their flashing caution lights and a crew member was using a stop/slow sign to direct traffic through the work area.
Four children were in the car with Whitaker. Lexington police will not release the children’s names, Brittany Lance, public relations director for the City of Lexington, said in an email. But she said the children were 3, 4, 8 and 15. The 3-year-old and the 4-year-old were Whitaker’s children. The 3-year-old child and the 8-year-old child are in critical condition, Lance said in the email. Lance said that the 4-year-old child and the 15-year-old child are OK.
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A search warrant said that Whitaker almost ran over a pedestrian and failed to stop at a stop sign.
Officer K. Beasley with the Lexington Police Department said in a search warrant that Whitaker admitted to consuming methadone, which is commonly used to treat opioid addiction.
Beasley wrote that Whitaker had slurred speech and dilated pupils in the sunlight. Beasley wrote that Whitaker kept leaning against things to keep her balance and nodded off while being questioned, the search warrant alleged.
The person in the DOT truck was not injured.
Lexington Police Department’s traffic crash reconstruction team went to the scene Tuesday and started investigating. Whitaker was charged with driving while impaired as a result, police said, and investigators determined that Whitaker caused the crash by failing to reduce her speed and careless and reckless driving. Investigators will consult with the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office to see if any further charges will be filed against Whitaker, police said.
Lexington Fire Department and Davidson County EMS helped at the scene.
Whitaker was released after posting a $500 secured bond. She is scheduled to appear in Davidson District Court on July 20.
Search warrant: Driver in Lexington crash had consumed methadone. Two of four injured children remain in critical condition