Capitol riot suspect arrested after wrong-way crash on highway leaves 1 dead, troopers say


ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A Missouri woman who already has a plea hearing scheduled next week for participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was arrested Wednesday in connection with a fatal accident, her attorney confirmed.

Emily Hernandez, 22, was driving the wrong way on eastbound I-44 in a Volkswagen Passat when it struck the front of a Buick Enclave, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The Enclave was pushed into the median and struck cable barriers.

A passenger in the Enclave, 32 year-old Victoria WIlson of St. Clair, Missouri, was pronounced dead at the scene. Hernandez and the driver of the second vehicle were both transported to hospitals with serious injuries. Hernandez was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated resulting in death. She has not been formally charged in court.

Ethan Corlija, Hernandez’s attorney, said the actions were “out of character.” Hernandez was out on a Personal Recognizance Bond for the riot case.

She faces a plea hearing next week on a charge of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds in connection with the Jan. 6 riot. She was seen in images captured that day holding a piece of a nameplate from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia declined comment beyond court filings when asked if her arrest in Missouri could impact the rest of her federal case.

Her uncle, William Merry, who was also seen holding part of the nameplate, pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft of government property.

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