Too high to drive, woman lets son, 5, take the wheel – major crash ensues

REDDING — A woman who later admitted she was addicted to drugs and high on methamphetamine and heroin was arrested after crashing her vehicle while allowing her 5-year-old son drive, Saturday evening, July 6.

After the collision, which happened at the intersection of Placer and Pine streets, the woman abandoned her young son and fled the scene on foot. Despite her attempt to flee, she was quickly apprehended by witnesses and forced to return to the scene of the crash – as well as her abandoned and traumatized son.


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City of Redding Police and Fire Departments, along with other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the intersection at 10:30 pm, after receiving reports of a two-vehicle crash, Redding Police Corporal Jeff Schmidt later reported.

911 callers reported the female driver of the car that caused the wreck, later identified as 24-year-old, Shasta Lake resident, Katelyn Miles, had abandoned her child at the scene before fleeing the area on foot, but that citizens had chased her down and captured her, before making her return to where the crash occurred.

When officials arrived they found two wrecked vehicles, described as a silver 2014 Nissan Versa and blue 2015 Honda Accord. The two damaged vehicles were off the roadway, where they had collided into a Cal Trans power box, which cut power to the signal lights at the intersection.

Redding police officers interviewed Miles and multiple witnesses during their subsequent crash and hit and run investigation. Although Miles had initially fled the scene of the accident, she cooperated with Redding PD’s DUI investigation, according to Schmidt.

“Katelyn admitted to using methamphetamine and heroin an hour prior to driving and being addicted to illegal drugs,” Schmidt explained. She also admitted to officers that when the crash happened “her 5-year-old son was on her lap and both Katelyn and her son were unrestrained in the car.”

According to witnesses and the other driver involved in the collision, Miles had been traveling about 80 mph on Placer St. – despite the street’s 35 mph posted speed limit – when she and her son attempted to make a right-hand turn onto Pine St. As Miles attempted to make the turn, her vehicle crashed into the other sedan, which was being driven by Brian Thomas, 41, of Redding.

The impact caused the two vehicles to careen off the roadway, where they plowed through a Cal Trans electrical box, destroying it and knocking out power to the intersection’s signals.

Thomas, who was wearing his seat belt at the time of the collision was uninjured, but had complaints of pain. Although neither Miles or her son were wearing safety belts when the crash happened, neither appeared injured. However, the child was later transported to an area hospital for evaluation as a precautionary measure.

Officers investigating the DUI hit and run later determined that immediately after the crash, Miles had handed her son off to a friend “who happened upon the collision,” according to Schmidt. The intoxicated driver then fled before being apprehended by witnesses and returned to the scene.

Based on their investigation, officers arrested Miles and she was later booked into Shasta County Jail in Redding on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, driving while addicted to drugs, hit and run, and child endangerment.

Cal Trans later responded to the scene to secure the power box and render it safe; however, they were unable to immediately make necessary repairs and restore power to the traffic signals.

A crew was scheduled to begin making repairs later that morning. Until then, the signals remained inoperable and stop signs were placed at the intersection to assist with traffic control.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Redding PD at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 19R43040 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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