GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — Gates Police have released more info regarding a car accident that injured two kids Thursday on Lyell Avenue in Gates.
Officers identified the driver involved as 29-year-old Letoya Palmo.
Officers said inside Palmo’s car was her 1-year-old daughter in a car seat, in the front passenger seat, and her two unrestrained sons ages. 5 and 7, in the back seat. The two unrestrained boys in the back seat were jumping up and down, according to officials.
Police say Palmo momentarily took her eyes off the road, turned in her seat to address the boys in the back seat. According to officers, when she turned her body and eyesight back onto the road her vehicle had drifted to the right and she was about to strike a large aluminum utility pole.
The car jumped the curb Palmo swerved to the right to avoid the pole when she struck a red wagon. The wagon and had two children in it, 10-months-old and 2-years-old, and was being pulled by their father. The wagon went under the car and was dragged about 50 feet under the car. The children’s father was not struck.
Palmo believes she accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake after hitting the wagon. The car came to rest in the parking lot with the wagon and children trapped underneath the car.
At this time the two children from the wagon are in intensive care and officials say they are expected to survive.
Palmo, was charged with reckless driving, moving from a lane unsafely, operating an uninspected motor vehicle, and two tickets for an unrestrained child.
Palmo will appear at Gates Court on July 23.
Sgt. James Coughlin described the scene as horrific.
“Unfortunately, as first responders, we have to keep our emotions in check and run the scene and get our job done. But it really hits home. We all have families so it’s hard to see children in distress. But we try and do what we have to do and save lives,” said Coughlin.