A Las Vegas woman who was behind the wheel in a crash that killed her 9-year-old niece was ordered released from jail Tuesday.
Wendy Carrion, 22, faces felony and misdemeanor charges including involuntary manslaughter, child abuse or neglect, failure to maintain lanes, driving without a license and not restraining a child.
On July 2, Carrion and six children were traveling north on Interstate 15 when she lost control of her SUV and it rolled, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
Three girls, ages 4, 6 and 9, were thrown from the vehicle onto northbound lanes of the freeway. At least two of them had not been wearing seat belts. One of them, 9-year-old Gabriela Casias, died at University Medical Center.
Gabriela’s mother, Cindi Casias-Perez, wrote a letter to Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure, asking for Carrion’s release.
“Our family is going through such pain and anguish with the loss of my daughter,” Casias-Perez wrote. “Wendy’s incarceration is causing more pain to our family than we can handle.”
Carrion and the rest of the children, who were all under the age of 7, were treated at the hospital and released.
The Ford Explorer that Carrion drove the day of the crash was not equipped for six child passengers, NHP said.
Carrion’s lawyers have said Carrion had dropped off her sister at work and was carrying her children and her sister’s children in the SUV.
Carrion is a single mother who has lived in Las Vegas for 20 years with no criminal history and has worked in housekeeping at the Tropicana for three years, according to her attorney, Jeb Bond.
Prosecutors said Carrion had three traffic tickets before the crash.
Carrion did not have a valid driver’s license, according to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. She was convicted in North Las Vegas last year of driving without a license and not properly restraining a child in a vehicle.
Bonaventure ordered Carrion to remain under house arrest and not drive while she awaits trial.
Contact reporter David Ferrara at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker