Mother charged with DWI on son’s birthday - The Buffalo News

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Mother charged with DWI on son’s birthday

Friday was supposed to be a joyful day for a Buffalo mother who had planned to celebrate the birthday of one of her three young sons, authorities said.

Instead, she spent the day in jail while two of her sons received hospital treatment and a third was admitted for injuries suffered when the vehicle driven by their mother crashed in the Broadway-Bailey neighborhood at about 1:30 a.m.

Melissa Ruth Russell, 23, of Gilbert Street, was charged with felony drunken driving under the state’s Leandra Law, and three misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of her children, according to Lt. Thomas J. Leatherbarrow, commander of the Buffalo Police Accident Investigation Unit.

Russell, Investigator Martin Forero said, was attempting to drive home from South Buffalo when she lost control of her car and crashed into three parked cars on Hirschbeck Avenue.

The boys, 2, 3, and 6, were taken to Women & Children’s Hospital.

“Two of the children were released and one was more seriously injured and had to be admitted,” Forero said.

Police and hospital personnel also notified Erie County Child Protective Services and requested an investigation into the children’s guardianship. Friday was the birthday of the 2-year-old, police said.

Ferry Fillmore District Officers Michael Scheu and Joshua Heidenger initially responded to the call of an injury accident and later at the hospital called in the Accident Investigation Unit when a hospital staff member expressed concern that it appeared the mother was intoxicated, police said.

In a blood test administered at the hospital, Russell posted a blood-alcohol level of .22, nearly three times the legal limit for driving while intoxicated, Forero said.

She was remanded to the Erie County Holding Center after an appearance in Buffalo City Court.


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