Woman suspected of DUI crashes car with 2 children into house

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WEST JORDAN — In recent days, Irene Simmons' grandchildren have played and slept in a room near the front of her house.

On Tuesday night, an SUV driven by a woman who police say was intoxicated crashed through the front of the house and into the bedroom. It fortunately occurred on one of the few nights this week when the children weren't in the home.

I just heard this loud bang and glass crashing and the house kind of shook, and my first thought (was) it was an earthquake.

–Irene Simons, homeowner


Just before 9:30 p.m., a woman who police believe was driving under the influence of alcohol and possibly drugs was arrested Tuesday night after she lost control of her vehicle for an unknown reason near 7500 South and 3500 West and hit a house — all while her two children were also in the vehicle.

The car knocked a hole in the brick structure of the house and sent debris into a bedroom, said West Jordan Police Sgt. Drew Sanders.

"I just heard this loud bang and glass crashing and the house kind of shook and my first thought (was) it was an earthquake," said Irene Simmons, who was watching TV in another room when the car hit.

Simmons called out to her husband, who was in the kitchen, to find out what had happened. That's when she walked by the bedroom.

"I said, 'There's a car in the house, call police.'"

Darcy Wallace
Darcy Wallace

The couple helped the children, ages 9 and 3, out of the car. Neither was wearing shoes. They carried the children over the broken glass to their couch and wrapped them in blankets, Simmons said.

The children were shaken by not injured.

The driver, 38-year-old Darcy Wallace, wasn't coherent, Simmons said.

"She really didn't know what she'd done, what had happened," she said. "I don't think she knew why she was driving through (our neighborhood)."

Wallace needed help getting out of the car, Simmons said. Wallace was taken to a local hospital. While being treated by hospital staff, she became "disorderly" and had to be placed in handcuffs while being evaluated, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

Police detectives investigating the crash found unlabeled prescription pill bottles in the wrecked car. One of the bottles had a short straw in it, the report states. Also in the car were five checks that belonged to someone else, police said.

Blood was drawn from the woman at the hospital and will be sent to the Utah State Crime Lab for analysis, Sanders said.

The children were turned over to the custody of a relative. Wallace was booked for investigation of five counts of possession of forged checks, two counts of altering or forging a prescription, disorderly conduct, DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Simmons said she wasn't angry about the incident. Rather, she mostly felt bad for the children.

"This can be fixed," she said looking at the damage in her bedroom. "I don't know how the emotional trauma can be fixed for those children."


Story written by Pat Reavy with contributions from Sarah Dallof.


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