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Youngstown woman charged in Route 422 collision | Local News | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


State police have filed multiple charges including one felony against a Youngstown woman who was involved in a three-vehicle crash on Route 422 in Pulaski Township.

The accident occurred around 5:10 p.m. Sept. 12 near Ambrosia Road, according to a police report. Katherine Velez Perez, 29, is wanted on a warrant for the incident.

According to a criminal complaint, Velez Perez told police the red Hyundai Elantra she was driving did not have a functional brake system and that she had been using the handheld emergency brake to stop the car.

She said as she approached a road construction zone, she could not stop in time and hit the back of a vehicle driven by Malik Chaz Matlock. His vehicle in turn struck the back end of a car driven by Lee Plotts, the report said.

Police reported that Velez Perez had three children in her back seat that were not properly restrained. The oldest, age 7, wore a seat belt but did not have a properly approved child booster seat. The other two children, ages 3 and 2, were in child safety seats but their shoulder belts were improperly placed and the safety seat latch system was not properly installed, the report said. 

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The children were taken by ambulance to a hospital for medical evaluation, police reported.

Troopers noted they could smell burning marijuana coming from Velez Perez’s vehicle. She requested transport by ambulance to UMPC Jameson Hospital where she submitted a blood test. 

Police said her blood results were positive for tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive component and one of the cannabinoids recognized in marijuana.

She is facing one felony count of endangering the welfare of children, plus two counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count each of driving under the influence, a brake violation, driving while her license is suspended, driving at unsafe speed, following too closely and careless driving, and three child safety restraint violations.

Suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty or adjudicated in court.

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