GRANVILLE, OH (WCMH) –At the intersection of South Cherry and West Maple Streets in Granville, shards of broken glass and a severed side mirror still litter the sidewalk, just feet away from where a car crashed and caught fire Tuesday night.
On Tuesday night, Trooper Sean Eitel of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was driving back to his post in Granville when he saw a car swerving and driving erratically. Dashcam video shows he turned his car around and flipped on his lights to follow the driver and pull over the car. Within one minute, the driver swerved across the center line, ran a stop sign and crashed into two utility poles at the intersection of South Cherry and West Maple Streets. The car flipped and caught fire.
“Her vehicle was so out of control, it was like it was just a pinball,” Trooper Eitel said.
Eitel jumped out of his cruiser to put out the fire. Then he heard the driver asking about her baby. He opened the back passenger door and saw the child—a four-month-old.
“He was upside down in his car seat, held by the car seat belt,” Eitel said. “So I’m still thinking, ‘Is this car going to catch back on fire, you know, is it going to explode?’ I don’t know. So I just wanted to get him out.”
Brandy Wilson, 35, of Newark, can be heard in the dashcam video repeatedly asking troopers where her son is. She told them she was on the way to pick up her fiancé from work.
Eitel said Wilson became aggressive at some points. He also described her speech as slurred and said her breath smelled of alcohol. Troopers did not administer field sobriety tests.
“As we walked her to my patrol car, she couldn’t walk on her own two feet,” Eitel said. “We had to literally carry her to my patrol car.”
In the video, Wilson can be heard saying, “I’ve done nothing wrong.” A trooper responds, “Actually, you have.”
Neither the baby nor Wilson were injured. Wilson now faces several charges, including operating a vehicle under the influence. She was held in the Licking County Justice Center, but according to Eitel, jail staff told him she was released on recognizance Wednesday.
Back on South Cherry and West Maple Streets, neighbor Jodie Rager said she was still in disbelief that there was a baby in the car.
“It just doesn’t make sense that anybody would do that with a little baby in the car,” Rager said. “Plain and simple, why would you put your child in danger?”
“We live so close, we thought somebody maybe went through the house,” Jodie Rager, a neighbor, said.
Reporters stopped by Wilson’s house in Newark to speak with her Wednesday, but no one answered the door.