A Skagit County woman stands accused of having a blood-alcohol content more than two times the legal limit when she crashed on East Smith Road and seriously injured a toddler she was babysitting.
Jolene Rae Maureen Sam, 31, of La Conner, was driving a 1994 Chevy Lumina west at 10:10 p.m. Dec. 23 in the 2100 block of East Smith. The car slammed into the back of a Honda CRV at an estimated speed of 40 to 50 mph, according to charging documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court.
The Honda driver, who was not hurt, had just hit the gas at the fourway intersection with Everson Goshen Road. Two girls in Sam's car - her 8-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old girl she was babysitting - weren't properly restrained.
The toddler's face was bloodied. She was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after doctors at St. Joseph hospital found her liver was bruised or cut, according to the charges.
Two hours after the crash, a breathalyzer measured Sam's blood-alcohol content at 0.230 and 0.196, wrote Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Mac Setter. Sam - with slurred words and bloodshot eyes - allegedly denied she was the driver, even though witnesses said she was behind the wheel.
Prosecutors alleged she admitted to drinking alcohol a few hours before the crash, but she wouldn't say how much she drank.
Sam was charged last week with vehicular assault. Two days before the crash, her license was suspended in the third degree because she didn't pay a ticket.
She was still in Whatcom County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail as of Friday, Jan. 4.