OCEAN PARK — Police and witnesses say a drunk driver left her two young children behind when she fled the scene of a wreck on March 21.
On the fence
Seagee Ranae Anderson, 31, of Ocean Park, was allegedly driving her silver Honda Element southbound Sandridge Road near 247th Place at about 6 p.m., when she swerved off the road. Anderson reportedly took out about 75 feet of fence at a home on Gile Place, which runs parallel to Sandridge Road, before hitting a tree on the driver’s side. Anderson’s 4-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son were in the car. They did not sustain any serious injuries.
When a Pacific County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene, he found Anderson’s fiancé, a 49-year-old Ocean Park man, holding the baby. The fiancé said they had been at a friend’s house, where alcohol was served. He said he had only two beers, but didn’t know how much alcohol Anderson had. He was following her home in his own car when she crashed, he said. He told the deputy Anderson left the scene “immediately after the wreck,” according to a probable cause statement. He thought she had most likely gone to their home in the 28100 block of Gile Place. A short time later, the fiancé left to accompany the children to the hospital for a check-up.
The residents, a man, woman and their children, were home at the time. They said that shortly after the crash, they saw Anderson take her purse and flee the scene, leaving both children in the vehicle. They said the fiancé was not in the car with her.
Changing clothes, changing stories
After clearing the wreck, the deputy went to look for Anderson. He found her walking toward the scene of the crash on Gile Place. She was allegedly wearing different clothing than the residents described and captured in a series of photos they took after the wreck.
According to the deputy, Anderson said her fiancé had been driving the Element, and it was he who crashed into the fence.
“Seagee said [her fiancé] told her to run, so she did,” his report said. However, an alleged bruise on her collarbone strongly resembled a seatbelt injury typical from collisions, according to the deputy, who noted that Anderson “smelled strongly of intoxicants.” During a field test, Anderson allegedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.19 — about 2.4 times the legal limit, of 0.08.
According to a report from the American Prosecutors’ Research Institute, a person of Anderson’s weight would have to have at least six 12-ounce beers or five-ounce glasses of wine to reach that level of intoxication. The likelihood that a person will cause a crash increases sharply once a person crosses the legal threshold. With a blood alcohol content of 0.19, a driver has a roughly 45 percent chance of crashing, the report said. At the Long Beach Police Department, roughly two and a half hours after the crash, Anderson’s blood alcohol content was allegedly 0.154.
Anderson was booked into Pacific County Jail, and charged with driving under the influence, hit and run and two counts of reckless endangerment, all gross misdemeanors that carry a potential penalty of up to 364 days in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both.
Anderson made a first appearance before South District Court Judge Nancy McAllister via video conference on March 22. McAllister set bail at $10,000 for each charge, and said Anderson may not drive unless she gets an ignition interlock device for her car. Anderson did not plead, saying she wanted to consult with her public defender first. She is expected to be arraigned next week.