Mother charged with DUI following crash that injured her 3 kids

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SPRING VALLEY, Calif. – A 25-year-old mother suspected of driving drunk with her three children crashed Monday in Spring Valley, leaving her and all three children hospitalized.

Grace Esparza and her 7-year-old daughter, who was riding without a seat belt in the front seat of the 2012 Toyota Tacoma, both sustained major injuries, California Highway Patrol officer Benjamin Demarest said. Her 3-year- old daughter riding in a backseat without a seat belt sustained minor injuries.

Esparza’s 5-month-old son was also in the back, restrained in a car seat that wasn’t installed properly, but was not injured, Demarest said. The infant was taken to Rady Children’s Hospital along with his sisters as a precaution.

Esparza was northbound in the Tacoma when she crashed about 3 a.m. in the 3700 block of Bancroft Drive near Golf Drive, south of state Route 94, Demarest said.

“Due to intoxication, Esparza’s Tacoma veered left across the southbound lanes, over a raised concrete curb, across a sidewalk, through a wooden fence and collided with a concrete wall,” Demarest said.

Esparza was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital with serious injuries including broken vertebrae and a broken nose, the CHP officer said. The 7-year-old girl in the front seat was taken to Rady with cuts on her face and a cut on her spleen that required surgery. The unrestrained 3-year-old daughter in the back sustained cuts on her head and face.

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