Officials: Aunt split bottle of tequila with friend before crash that killed 2 toddlers, decapitating 1
LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) - Authorities revealed new details on Tuesday about a crash that happened earlier this month in Las Vegas that killed two toddlers.
Police said the children’s aunt, KaLeah Manning, was driving drunk on Dec. 11 after she split a bottle of tequila with a friend. The mother of the children, Raenysha Washington, had also been drinking, and was a passenger in the car at the time of the crash, authorities said.
According to authorities, the crash occurred because the aunt failed to make a turn, causing the vehicle to slam head-on into a large palm tree.
Police said one of the children, 2-year-old Rose Wilmer, was decapitated and killed instantly. The other girl, 3-year-old Taylor Wilmer, died at the hospital. Both the aunt and mother were left seriously injured.
Tavon Wilmer, the father of the two girls, spoke with KVVU at a vigil for the family held at the scene of the crash.
“Every day I wake up a part of me is missing,” Tavon Wilmer said. “My kids didn’t deserve this. They were beautiful kids. This is really hard.”
A recent report said the girls and their mother were at a children’s birthday party before the crash took place. They left the party with their aunt for a friend’s house.
When the group arrived at the friend’s house, the women reportedly took the car seats out of the vehicle because they belonged to the friend.
Authorities said the girls were placed in the third row of seats in the van because the second-row seats had been removed. The girls were also strapped in using seatbelts from the second row.
The violent impact of the crash caused Washington’s spleen to rupture, while Manning suffered a ruptured bladder, a spinal injury and hip dislocation.
Responding officers said they found a female adult driver, identified later as Manning, sitting in the driver’s seat. They said she was trying to wake the passenger, identified as Washington, by shaking her.
The officers said Manning smelled like alcohol and had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.
Washington and Manning reportedly said they drank tequila, and Washington told investigators that Manning and a friend had finished an entire bottle.
When tested, police said her blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
Manning allegedly told an officer she thought she was fine and that she usually doesn’t drink and drive.
When Washington asked why Manning didn’t order an Uber, Manning allegedly told the officer she didn’t have the money for it.
Manning’s first court appearance took place on Tuesday. Washington remains in the hospital.
Bail for the women was set over the weekend.
In court on Tuesday, a lawyer appointed to represent the two women said he would be asking for the release of both of them. He said the two do not have an extensive criminal history and are mourning the loss of the two children.
The next court date for the mother and aunt is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2023.
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