LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A woman charged in a crash that injured four children allegedly had methadone in her system at the time of the crash, warrants state.
Lexington officers say they responded to a crash around 10 a.m. Tuesday near Fairway Drive. According to officers, a 2010 Pontiac G6 had crashed into the back of a North Carolina Department of Transportation truck parked on the road so state crews could remove storm debris.
According to a warrant, Amber Whitaker said she had taken methadone. Warrants also state that a witness told police that Whitaker nearly ran over a pedestrian before running a stop sign and that officers on the scene observed her nodding off during questioning.
Investigators say Whitaker was going south on Fairview Drive and failed to stop for the NCDOT crew, who had one lane of travel blocked and were using flashing caution lights on their vehicles and stop/slow signs to direct traffic through the work area.
Four juveniles in Whitaker’s vehicle were seriously injured, including Whitaker’s three-year-old.
FOX8 crews spoke to Whitaker’s stepdaughter online. She said Whitaker’s 3-year-old child is currently in the ICU with a spinal cord injury. The 4-year-old had some bumps and bruises and was able to come home.
We’re still working to learn the condition of the 8-year-old and 15-year-old. Whitaker’s stepdaughter said they are the children of a family friend.
A woman who lives off Fairview Drive who didn’t want to be identified tells FOX8 the crash sounded like a tree falling.
When she walked outside her home, she saw a big cloud of smoke and NCDOT crews working to get the four kids out of the vehicle.
As officers investigated, probable cause was developed to arrest and charge Whitaker with driving while impaired.
In addition to DWI, investigators say Whitaker also failed to reduce speed and drove recklessly and carelessly. Blood test results are pending.
Methadone is commonly used for the treatment of opioid addiction.