Mother accused of driving drunk in wrong-way Detroit crash that killed son arraigned on charges

Police say child was ejected from minivan, run over on road

Charlessia Pelt cries during her arraignment on Aug. 12, 2018. (WDIV)

DETROIT – A woman accused of driving drunk in a wrong-way crash on 7 Mile Road that killed her 3-year-old son and injured two other children in Detroit was arraigned Sunday.

Watch the arraignment below.

Charlessia Pelt is charged with reckless driving causing death, three counts of second-degree child abuse and three counts of operating while intoxicated - occupant.

Video of the incident shows the 27-year-old woman's minivan speeding in the wrong direction before crashing, police said.

WATCHVideo shows minivan speeding wrong way on 7 Mile Road before fatal crash

A memorial for 3-year-old Michael Jones at 7 Mile Road and Hayes Street continues to grow. Emotions are running high for residents who heard what happened.

"This is so hard," Michael's aunt, Barbara Sledge, said. "It's so hard taking this in. It is unreal."

Witness Judy Carter added to the memorial and said her heart is breaking for Michael.

"We can always ride past here and remember him," Carter said.

Police said the video shows Michael's mother speeding up 7 Mile Road into oncoming traffic Thursday evening, right past a Detroit police officer.

Witnesses said she was on her cellphone, according to authorities.

When she got to Hayes Street, there was a collision and Michael, who was in a car seat, was ejected, police said. His mother's van spun around and ran over him, according to officials.

"She came through the light and hit all these cars. The back of the truck flipped open and the baby flew out," witness William Sistrunk said. "A baby flew out of her window and then she ran over her own baby."

Witnesses said the minivan was traveling about 70 to 80 miles per hour.

Viewer video shows Detroit police putting Michael into a squad car to rush him to St. John Hospital.

"Traumatic," said Detroit police Cpt. Mike McGinnis. "Any time you have a child unconscious in the street, it's pretty traumatic."

Michael's mother was taken into custody on suspicion of drunken driving.

"You knew you were that drunk, and you risked your kid's life," witness Regina Marshall said.

Family members said Michael's mother has been going through a lot in her life recently. They said they're supporting her while they mourn her son's death.

"She just lost it," Michael's uncle, Darius Sledge, said. "She really lost it, just snapped on the video. That is not her."

Family members said the woman is being treated for depression and was on her way to take the children to her sister's home so she could enjoy a night out.

The woman's 3-month-old and 8-year-old daughters were also in the car. They are expected to be OK, but the 8-year-old girl is distraught over losing her brother, according to family members.

WATCH: The arraignment of a mother accused of driving drunk in a wrong-way Detroit crash that killed her son

Posted by WDIV Local 4 / ClickOnDetroit on Sunday, August 12, 2018

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