A woman was driving under the influence with a 3-year-old child in the car when she flipped her vehicle over in a New London shopping plaza and crashed into five other vehicles, according to New London police.
Officers responded to the New London Shopping Center, at 322 South Frontage Road, at 6:49 p.m. Tuesday after receiving several reports of a car rollover and possible fire.
Giana Velez, 23, of New London, had another woman and that woman’s 3-year-old son in the car, according to a New London Fire Department incident report.
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All three were relatives, according to Acting Police Chief Peter Reichard.
Investigators determined Velez had been going north on Interstate 95, got off at exit 82A and onto South Frontage Road, where she lost control of the car while traveling at a fast speed in the rain and flipped in the parking lot.
No one was injured in the crash. The other five vehicles were unoccupied at the time, according to police.
Velez had a blood alcohol content more than one and a half times the legal limit, Reichard said, adding police contacted the Department of Children and Families regarding the case.
Velez is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and, or drugs; child endangerment while driving under the influence; reckless driving; and operating under suspension.
She posted bond and is no longer in jail.
"All I see is a car coming, shooting up this little ramp right here onto about three or four cars on the fence and everything,” said Ray Rowell who was leaving work at the time.
He heard the crash, and along with a handful of other people, sprinted to get the two women and the three-year-old out of the car.
“By the grace of God he was crying, so he had breath in his lungs,” Rowell said of the child.
The crash site is near a Town Fair Tire and Texas Roadhouse. A manager at Texas Roadhouse told NBC Connecticut two or three of the damaged cars belonged to his employees.
As of Wednesday night, the scene consisted of a fallen fence, smashed steel, downed signs and tire tracks where there is no road. Shattered glass also covered some of the pavement and the grassy median.
Police ask anyone with information to call the New London Police Department at 860-447-5269 submit anonymous information through the New London Tips 411 system.