Missouri woman charged in Capitol riot arrested after fatal car crash

January 7, 2022
Missouri woman charged in Capitol riot arrested after fatal car crash
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A Missouri woman charged with participating in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection was arrested Wednesday after she caused a fatal car crash while driving drunk on the wrong way on the road, authorities said.

Emily Hernandez, of Sullivan, Missouri, was arrested after the crash Wednesday night on Interstate 44 in Franklin County. Hernandez, 22, faces possible charges of driving while intoxicated resulting in death, and driving while intoxicated resulting in injury, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Victoria Wilson, 32, from St. Clair, Missouri, was killed in the collision, and her husband, Ryan Wilson, 36, was seriously injured, Highway Patrol documents say. 

A GoFundMe site set up by Victoria Wilson’s sister said she had a 10 and 15-year-old son. Her mother, Tonie Donaldson, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Victoria Wilson was a home healthcare aide who worked mainly with people with disabilities, including children.

“She had a heart of gold,” Donaldson told the Post-Dispatch. “Not everyone can work with mentally challenged children, and she’s done it since she was 13.”

Her mother said she was upset that Hernandez wasn’t already imprisoned for her participation in the Capitol insurrection.

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“Why is she still out?” Donaldson told the Post-Dispatch. “With what she did to the government, why is she still walking the street?”

Hernandez was heading westbound in the eastbound lanes of the highway around 7 p.m. when she struck Wilson’s vehicle, according to the Highway Patrol crash report.

Ethan Corlija, one of Hernandez’s lawyers, said she was expected to be released from the hospital Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Corlija told the Kansas City Star that the crash was “a tragic event.”

“She’s truly heartbroken that this happened,” he told The Star. “She’s involved with someone being harmed and the loss of life.”

“They’re waiting for test results to come back and then decisions will be made on whether or not charges are appropriate,” he said. “The investigation is focusing on whether or not she was impaired when the accident occurred.”

After attending the riot at the U.S. Capitol last year, Hernandez was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds; disorderly conduct which impedes the conduct of government business; stealing, selling, conveying or disposing of U.S. property; disruptive conduct in the capitol buildings; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the capitol buildings.

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Prosecutors later charged her with one misdemeanor count of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds. Corlija said Hernandez intends to plead guilty Monday to one misdemeanor charge.

Pictures and videos show a smiling Hernandez holding up a piece of a sign from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the insurrection.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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