What to do if you’ve been in a car accident
A Key West mother crashed her car into a cab and then left the scene — and her sobbing 8-year-old daughter — in an attempt to stay out of trouble with the law, police said.
Frances Gonzalez, 46, told police her daughter did not want to go with her, according to the arrest report.
The child said her mother took off after telling her she didn’t want to stay and get into trouble, police said.
After the May 13 incident, Gonzalez was arrested on a felony charge of child neglect and a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving. She was released from the Stock Island Detention Center the next day without having to post a bond.
“Why am I being charged with child neglect,” Gonzalez asked police during her arrest, the report stated.
A witness told police about the crash and the sight of the little girl, who was crying on the side of 14th Street near the Searstown shopping plaza off North Roosevelt Boulevard.
At about 7:29 p.m., the witness heard a loud crash and then a little girl scream. He yelled at the driver to stop while trying to console the child.
Gonzalez had driven her Nissan Sentra head-on into a cab that was parked on 14th Street and drove off, police said. Both cars sustained major damage.
Another witness wrote down the license plate of the silver Sentra that took off.
The girl’s stepfather later arrived at the shopping center and gave officers Gonzalez’s correct address, since the one on her license was wrong. He told police she was at home.
When police caught up with Gonzalez, she smelled of alcohol and appeared to be under the influence of prescription pills, according to the arrest report.
“She could not remember things she was being told,” an officer wrote.
But police said they couldn’t conduct a DUI investigation due to the “time frame” of the crash and because Gonzalez had entered her home after allegedly leaving the scene.