Townsend woman fled crash with injured kids, police said
From Staff Reports
A Townsend woman was arrested after allegedly crashing her vehicle and fleeing the scene with her four young children, who police said were injured in the crash.
Chrissi Marie Nelson, 29, Old Walland Highway, was arrested by Townsend Police officers early Tuesday morning on four counts of child abuse and neglect and one count of failure to report an accident. She was jailed under $4,300 bond and had an initial court hearing Wednesday in Blount County General Sessions Court.
Jail records show Nelson bonded out of jail Tuesday, one day before the hearing.
Townsend police responded to Rudd Hollow Road at around 9 p.m. Monday after someone called 911 to report a motor vehicle crash, according to a Townsend Police report. During the search, a maroon 1993 Lincoln which had hit a tree was found a short distance from Wears Valley Road.
Officers ran the license plate number and confirmed the vehicle was registered to Nelson. Police noted that although no one was inside the car, they found blood on the passenger-side airbag, leading them to believe there were injuries in the crash. Police also reported noticing a strong odor of beer in the vehicle.
Another motorist told officers that he had recently seen a woman matching Nelson’s description driving the vehicle — along with four child passengers — near a residence on Clark Drive. During their investigation, officers discovered that Nelson lived at an Old Walland Highway residence and, following a brief search of the area, located her at the home.
When officers arrived and stepped out of their patrol vehicles, Nelson came out of the home, identified herself and said she had been involved in an accident and was expecting authorities to be looking for her, the report said. Nelson took officers inside the home to check on her four children, which were occupants of the vehicle at the time of the crash.
The police report said the children were between 7 and 10 years of age.
Officers said the children had sustained several injuries and required medical attention. Emergency personnel were called and responded to the scene, taking all four children to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.
More charges pending
While speaking with Nelson, officers reported noticing a strong odor of beer on her breath. She said she had drunk one beer before driving. She was asked to perform standardized field sobriety tests, which indicated the level of alcohol in her system to be above the legal limit, the report said.
Nelson told officers that after fleeing the accident scene, she came home and drank beer. Following her arrest, authorities notified the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) of the situation and all four children were placed in DCS custody.
Nelson agreed to take a blood alcohol test and was taken to Blount Memorial Hospital for a blood draw before being jailed at the Blount County Detention Facility. Additional charges are pending the result of the investigation, police said.