Woman admits to smoking meth before crash involving injured, unrestrained children

Woman admits to smoking meth before crash involving injured, unrestrained children

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge woman is behind bars after, authorities say, she was involved in a crash where her children were unrestrained and injured, while she also in possession of crystal meth.

On February 11, Louisiana State Police investigated a single vehicle crash on Greenwell Springs Road occurring around 2 p.m. While on the scene, troopers found out from first responders that two children, ages 7 and 8, were injured during the crash because they were not properly restrained.

During the investigation of the crash, it was revealed Rhonda Bueche, 55, was traveling southbound in a GMC Sierra truck. After going through a gradual left curve, the truck exited the road to the right going through a ditch for a short distance when the front-end hit a large tree and came to a rest.

As a result of the crash, the three occupants in the truck were injured and transported to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital.

During a search to locate Bueche's driver's license, a makeup bag was discovered on the seat, which contained a loose baggy of crystal shards, appearing to be Crystal Meth, along with a digital scale with white powder residue. A white cylinder bottle with a large crystal shard in it as well as an Altoid  wintergreen mint can containing two crystal shards were also discovered.

During the investigation, a state trooper, trained in the area of drug recognition, interviewed Bueche while she was at the hospital. Prior to questioning, the trooper was informed about the discovery of the drugs on the scene and also administered a field sobriety test.

While questioning Bueche, the trooper said he noticed she had resting nystagmus, a jerking of the eyes as they look straight ahead, along with several other visual cues that all showed signs of impairment. He also said she had groggy speech.

During the interview, Bueche admitted to state police to ingesting crystal meth around noon that day. She was then arrested in the emergency room, where she was later transported to East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and booked on charges of driving while intoxicated with child endangerment, careless operation, vehicular negligent injuring (two counts), unrestrained child, possession of a schedule II controlled dangerous substance, and cruelty to juveniles (2 counts).

According to the hospital staff, the two children were admitted in the hospital. The 8-year-old had internal injuries to his abdomen and is scheduled for surgery. After surgery, he will be sent to the pediatric intensive care unit for recovery.

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