Police: Drunk West Linn woman leaves kids alone, crashes car - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Drunk West Linn woman leaves kids alone, crashes into tree

Posted: Updated: Feb 7, 2012 10:53 PM

A West Linn woman was arrested on suspicion of crashing her car into a tree while drunk.

Police say Eva Chapin's 3- and 4-year-old children were home alone at the time of the crash.

They say Chapin was on her way back from the store when she lost control of her car and hit a street sign and a tree at about 1 a.m. Tuesday.

The crash scene is on Summit Drive, near Horton Road, less than a mile from her home.

"She was very concerned, obviously, about the kids. She said she lived up the street, she was trying to get home, she made it sound like it was a quick errand," said Craig Newman, who ran out to help after hearing the crash. "I don't really know what she was doing but she was very concerned about getting back to the kids, but she was in no condition to drive, so I wasn't going to let that happen."

Police did not say how fast Chapin was driving, but the impact was hard enough to cause the airbags to deploy.

"My first thought was, ‘Oh, this is not going to be good.' Cars and trees don't usually do too well," said Newman. "It's a miracle really, there definitely were angels watching over her. Strange as that sounds, but I don't know how she walked away without any major injury from that crash."

Police arrested Chapin on charges of DUII, reckless driving and child neglect.

The neglect charges were dropped. Chapin was released from jail on her own recognizance, but was not home when a news crew stopped by her house Tuesday night.

Her children are with their grandmother, according to police.

Newman, who does not know Chapin, has some sympathy for her.

"I don't know her whole story, right, or what was going on in her life to make the decision she made last night," said Newman. "Yeah, you just hope she can get through this."

Chapin does not have a record of driving infractions.

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