An Oregon woman is facing criminal child endangerment charges after witnesses say she tried to show her kids a “good time” in an extremely dangerous way, police told local media outlets.
According to the Register-Guard, Alana Nicole Donahue of Springfield, Oregon, was arrested Wednesday evening after witnesses reported seeing her driving a car and towing a plastic red wagon with children in it.
According to The Oregonian, there were allegedly three children in the wagon — Donahue’s 2-year-old daughter, 4-year-old son and 8-year-old nephew. The incident took place at around 7:40 p.m., according to KVAL.
Witnesses say they saw Donahue driving her car with the wagon attached to it by a strap or rope through traffic, police say. According to one witness, Donahue was reaching speeds of 30 miles per hour, and at one point, the wagon tipped so that it was up on two wheels, police told KVAL.
“That's when the littlest one started to cry,” Scott McKee, an officer with the Springfield Police Department, told KVAL.
According to The Oregonian, Donahue then stopped and placed the 2-year-old in the car, but continued to drive with the other children in the wagon. A photo released by police seems to show them not wearing any protective gear.
The Register-Guard reports that Donahue then allegedly entered a traffic roundabout, driving at about five miles per hour. Because of the time of day, it was about rush hour and there was substantial traffic, police say.
Witnesses told police that Donahue waved vehicles to go around her as she drove in circles in the roundabout, and traffic began to back up as drivers were afraid to pass, per the Register-Guard.
Eventually, drivers were successful in persuading Donahue to pull over into a nearby convenience market, per KVAL. There, a witness called 911.
However, when police arrived, Donahue reportedly did not see what the problem was.
Police say Donahue told one adult concerned about her actions to “be an adult about it,” and added to police that she never went above five miles per hour and was “just trying to show (her) kids a good time,’” according to multiple outlets.
Police say Donahue was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time and are charging her with three counts of reckless endangerment, according to The Oregonian.
“This was indeed just bad judgment,” McKee told KVAL.