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Woman charged with DWI in church van crash that injured 17

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A woman allegedly caused the crash when her SUV drifted into the center lane and hit the van, injuring everyone in the two vehicles, including her own one-month-old son.


After crossing the center line on a road in North Carolina, a woman in an SUV crashed into a church van, causing it to go off the road and flip. All 17 people in the two vehicles were hospitalized with at least minor injuries, the worst being sustained by the woman's own one-month-old son. Photo by Miki Sarabiez/Shutterstock


STOKESDALE, N.C., Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A woman is expected to be charged with driving while under the influence, among other charges, after she drifted into the middle lane and struck a van, injuring 17 people between the two vehicles.

Diadra Rachel Shaffer is expected to be charged with a range of crimes related to her crash with a church van carrying 15 passengers, and with resulted in all of the people involved being injured -- including Shaffer's own 1-month-old son.

The church van, which was heading from Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Martinsville, Va., was traveling southwest on US 158 in Stokesdale when Shaffer's Chevrolet Blazer crossed the center line and hit the white Ford van.

The van went off the road while trying to swerve out of the way of the SUV and overturned while Shaffer's vehicle was still in the middle of the road. All passengers in both vehicles were trapped until emergency personnel got them free.

The 17 passengers were split between five hospitals in North Carolina, with Shaffer herself sustaining the most serious injuries. Of those in the van, one had a serious injury while those of the other 14 people's injuries were minor.

In addition to driving while impaired, Shaffer is charged with careless and reckless driving, midemeanor child abuse, driving left of center and driving with a license revoked.



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