Woman appears in court after allegedly hitting teenage pedestrians, charged with aggravated DUI
IDAHO FALLS – A woman appeared for a preliminary hearing after being charged with a felony aggravated DUI after allegedly hitting teenagers with her car.
Leana Irma Rodriguez, 32, was arrested on June 22, after she drove a car off the side of the road and struck two teenage boys, police said.
Both victims testified in court Tuesday and described the night. One victim, a 15-year old boy, said a group of six teenagers had been walking home after going to Country Corner in Idaho Falls. According to both victims, the road they were walking on did not have a sidewalk, so they were walking off the road in the dirt.
The 15-year old said he saw a black Honda Accord come up behind them, “clipping” him with the side mirror, and fully hitting another teen, who was pushed forward “5 to 7 feet”.
He testified that he “heard a lot of crunching” during the incident, and is now receiving physical therapy treatment for back and shoulder pain. He also said he has a “side-mirror shaped” bruise on his back.
This victim also told the court room that Rodriguez “said we were playing and jumping in and out of the road, which is not correct.”
“We were walking, making jokes, and just hanging out, and all of a sudden from our left comes the defendant in her car, and she clipped me,” said the 15-year-old victim.
The other victim, a 14-year old teenager, testified that he has on-going health issues because of the incident.
The 14-year-old said he has no recollection of that night after about 4 p.m, including when he was hit, which was around 8 p.m. He said he suffered a concussion that night, cuts to the face that required 10 stitches, and due to the car running over his arm and leaving tire tracks, he now cannot lift anything over about 7 pounds.
Deputy Zachary Skidmore from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office testified as well.
Skidmore said that when he arrived, he saw a black Honda Accord on the side of the road, towing a trailer with jet skis.
He said he tried to conduct a field sobriety test on Rodriguez, and she was “slurring her speech and swaying like she couldn’t keep her balance.”
According to Skidmore, Rodriguez initially did not want to take a breathalyzer test, but after being told that otherwise, she would have a warrant out for her arrest and be taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for a blood test, she decided to take one.
Skidmore testified that Rodriguez’s alcohol results were “well above the legal limit.”
The case was bound over to district court, and a trial is pending.
Though Rodriguez has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean she committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
If convicted, Rodriguez could face up to 15 years in prison.