A New Hampshire woman who was allegedly using her phone while driving led police on a chase before crashing and running away from the scene, leaving a 6-year-old child behind, officials say.
Tracey Pelletier, 32, of Nashua, was arrested Tuesday and is facing several charges in connection with the incident, including disobeying an officer, conduct after an accident, reckless conduct, endangering the welfare of a child, resisting detention, criminal trespass, operating after suspension and use of mobile electronic device while driving.
Nashua police say around 1:45 p.m. Tuesday, an officer who was looking for distracted drivers noticed a person using a cell phone while driving. The cop attempted to conduct a traffic stop for the violation, but the BMW driver took off speeding and fled on Amherst Street.
The police officer ended the chase due to safety concerns, but the vehicle was later found in the area of Amherst and Vernon streets where it had crashed through several front yards and into a fence near a business. The driver, later identified as Pelletier, grabbed her purse and her phone and fled the scene.
But she left behind a panicked little boy.
"She left her child and her little boy, as I was coming out, I saw him fall out of the door to the back seat," said Pamela Leduc, who took care of the 6-year-old. "Heart was racing. You could tell he was wanting his mom. I don't know if he spoke English, he wouldn't talk to me. He was crying."
"This poor little boy. He was like so shocked. He probably didn't know what the hell was going on," one woman said.
Surveillance video shows Pelletier running away, being chased by Leduc's boyfriend Eric, and then a police officer. The footage also shows the 6-year-old boy running and looking unnerved as Leduc tries to help him.
"I'm a mom. I'm a grandmother of nine grandchildren. My first instinct was the baby. Not anything else. Just the child," Leduc said.
Pelletier was subsequently taken into custody after attempting to hide in a residence, police say, and the child was taken to an area hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.
It's not immediately clear if Pelletier has an attorney or when she will be arraigned.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call the Nashua Police Department.