DUI hit-run driver crashed with unbuckled kids, police say

Ciara Morales (Harrisburg Bureau of Police)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Police say an unlicensed driver was under the influence of alcohol and had four unbuckled children in her van when she crashed into a city trash truck.

Ciara Morales, 24, struck the back of the trash truck twice as it was stopped for a red light at South 17th and Brookwood streets Tuesday morning and then fled the scene, police said in a news release.

A sanitation worker riding on the rear passenger side of the truck was knocked to the ground but refused EMS treatment.

The truck driver photographed the brown Honda van and its license plate. The driver also told police he saw children in the van, all appearing to be under the age of 6, neither restrained nor in car seats.

Police said when they found the van parked in Hall Manor, there was blood on the passenger side door, damage to the front end, and the front bumper cover was missing. No car seats were inside.

Morales was bleeding from her wrist but refused to say how she received the injury. She had a strong odor of alcohol on her breath, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and appeared as if she would fall down while walking. She eventually admitted to drinking alcohol and having the children in the van when she crashed, police said.

The children were not injured.

Police said Morales also kicked at an officer’s face as shackles were placed on her left ankle and had to be carried from her home. They said she had blood on her shirt and pants and risked exposing the officers during her attempts to prevent arrest.

She was charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of children and one count each of DUI, resisting arrest; accidents involving damage to an attended vehicle, duty to give information and render aid, driving without a license, and driving at a safe speed.

She was arraigned then released on $10,000 unsecured bail, according to court records.

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