Vehicle accident on I-59 leads to arrest

Picayune Police Assistant Chief Dusty Moeller provided details of a recent arrest for multiple counts of endangering a child that involved an vehicle accident.

Moeller stated that on October 3, 2019, at around 8:40 p.m., Picayune Police officers were dispatched to Interstate 59 southbound near mile marker 3 in reference to a motor vehicle accident involving one vehicle that had run off the roadway and had come to rest in a wooded area.

Upon arriving at the scene of the accident, officers observed a white female, identified as Elizabeth Ellen Todd, age 32, of 306 East Oak Street, Ellisville, MS. Officers observed Todd to be uneasy and unsteady on her feet and to be nodding in and out of a normal state of coherence. The vehicle also had three juvenile children inside in the vehicle according to Moeller.

Todd told the officers that she had lost control of the vehicle and veered right off the roadway into the tree line. During a search of the vehicle, officers located suboxone. A check with NCIC and further investigate techniques, it was learned that Todd was wanted for questioning by Child Protective Services (CPS) in Jones County. They also learned that Todd was supposed to meet with CPS earlier that day, but she fled with the children before that meeting occurred. CPS was dispatched to the scene to pick up the children.

As the investigation continued, Moeller said the officers observed Todd to be so unsteady that she fell several times while attempting to speak with the officers. AAA Ambulance arrived on the scene at which time Todd and the children were transported to Highland Community Hospital (HCH) for further medical evaluation. After evaluation, it was determined that the children were not injured during the accident.

Upon a further search of the vehicle, officers located a plastic baggie containing a brown powdery residue believed to be heroin, multiple open and empty suboxone packets from inside the vehicle.

CPS later took custody of the children from Highland Community Hospital. After Todd was evaluated by HCH, Todd was arrested for DUI First Offense, two felony counts of Endangering a Child While Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicating Substance and one misdemeanor count of Endangering a Child While Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicating Substance.

Moeller said Todd was transported to the Criminal Justice Center where she was booked and incarcerated on the above state charges and she was subsequently cited for expired driver’s license, no proof of insurance, child restraint violations (three counts), reckless driving, no seat belt, and two counts of Possession of Paraphernalia.

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