Police say drunk driver struck infant, 4-year-old, mother in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A drunk driver in an SUV plowed into a family walking along an Anchorage street Sunday, injuring a mother, a child and an infant in a stroller, police said.

Erica Merrill, 34, was arrested following the accident and charged with felony DUI, multiple counts of assault, driving with a revoked license and driving without insurance. Anchorage police said she has two previous drunken-driving convictions.

The mother and two children struck by the SUV sustained injuries that authorities said do not appear to be life-threatening. Police said the 4-year-old who was hit has a collapsed lung and is being monitored in a hospital intensive care unit, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The three victims were part of a larger group that was walking along the side of the road when the accident occurred.

Anchorage Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said Merrill attempted to walk away from the scene before officers arrived, but was restrained by witnesses, according to KTUU-TV.

A breath test 90 minutes after the collision found that Merrill had a blood-alcohol level of .287, which is more than three times the legal limit to drive. Police said she refused to tell police where she had been drinking prior to the accident.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that Merrill made a brief appearance in court Sunday and asked for a public defender. She did not enter a plea and her bail was set at $40,000.

The Daily News reports that the mother is 22-year-old Patricia Shawley.

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