PROVO — A mother who police say was holding her infant unrestrained and a woman who was allegedly drunk behind the wheel when her car crashed were charged Tuesday in the baby's death.
The driver, Chelsea Fuller, 29, was charged in 2nd District Court with automobile homicide, a second-degree felony; driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a third-degree felony; and failure to use a child restraint device, an infraction.
The 4-month-old baby's mother, Susanne McClellan, 38, is charged with obstructing justice, a third-degree felony, and negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor.
Fuller, of Orem, was driving McClellan, of Provo, and her baby, Brylee McClellan, home about 4 a.m. Thursday when she attempted to turn at 820 N. Oakmont Lane, sending her car off the road and into a tree where it crashed onto its side, according to police.
Both women had been drinking, charges state, and Fuller had taken citalpram, alprazolam and Ambien. No one in the car was properly restrained, according to police.
Brylee, who was on her mother's lap in the back seat, suffered massive head trauma, neck and spinal cord trauma, and broken bones in her skull, neck and ribs, charges state. The infant was taken to Primary Children's Hospital, where she died about 8:45 a.m.
McClellan, who hit the windshield when the car rolled, experienced skull fractures as well as cuts and broken bones in her face.
When police arrived, McClellan told them Brylee had been in a car seat and she wasn't sure who was driving, charges state. When she learned the baby had died, however, she told police she knew she and Fuller were both drunk when they got into the car, and that Fuller was the driver.
Fuller's blood-alcohol content was .233, more than double the legal limit, according to the charges.
A witness who arrived at the scene told police he had offered McClellan a car seat and a ride home, charges state.
Fuller was convicted of DUI in October 2012 and pleaded no contest to impaired driving in January 2012, according to Utah court records. A police affidavit filed in 4th District Court indicates she also has a history of substance abuse.
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