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5 kids, 1 adult seriously injured after crashing into impaired driver's SUV stopped on I-75: FHP

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Posted at 5:44 AM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 10:46:00-04

PASCO COUNTY, Fla.  — The Florida Highway Patrol said five children and one adult were seriously injured after they crashed into the back of a vehicle that was stopped in the middle of the road by an impaired driver early Monday morning.

Troopers said it happened around 2:15 a.m. on I-75 southbound in Pasco County.

According to FHP, Ashley Clairmonte, 26, of Tampa, stopped her Buick Encore in the inside lane of the interstate. Troopers said Clairmonte was "impaired and tired."

Troopers said the stopped SUV was hit by a Chevy Tracker driven by a 24-year-old woman from Philadelphia. Troopers said there were five children inside the Chevy; four girls ages 10, 6, 8 and 1, and a 6-year-old boy. The children are also from Philadelphia, FHP said.

According to FHP, only the driver and 10-year-old girl were restrained. The 1-year-old suffered critical injuries, and the other children and the woman driving suffered serious injuries, FHP said.

Clairmonte suffered minor injuries in the crash, troopers said.

After the impact, troopers said the Encore overturned into the outside lane and the Chevy rotated to a final rest also in the outside lane.

Troopers said after the crash, Clairmonte ran away from the scene into the adjacent treeline. She returned after troopers arrived.

Clairmonte was later arrested for DUI serious injury and leaving the scene of a crash with injury. She was taken to the Pasco County Jail.