A Cape Coral woman who reportedly crashed into a tree in January, injuring herself and the six children in her vehicle, had a suspended driver's license and tested positive for prescription drugs.
Mary E. Jones, 36, of 1127 S.W. 18th Ave., was charged Monday with DUI, DUI with property damage, two counts of DUI with personal injury, three counts of DUI with serious bodily injury and three counts of driving while license suspended with serious bodily injury, according to police.
Jones was additionally charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana under 20 grams, as well as two counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.
Mary E. Jones
She remained in custody Tuesday at the Lee County Jail without bond.
On Jan. 13, Jones was driving a 2007 Hyundai Entourage south on Nott Road, according to police reports. At about 6:05 p.m., Jones veered left off of the roadway into a ditch in the 800 block. The vehicle sideswiped a tree, causing damage to the driver's side, before continuing southbound.
The Hyundai finally collided head-on into a tree, coming to a stop.
Jones sustained minor injuries in the crash. She was treated at the hospital and later released.
There were six children riding in the Hyundai at the time of the accident.
According to police, three of the children sustained life-threatening, serious bodily injuries and two sustained minor injuries. All were transported to area hospitals for treatment and later released.
Jones initially denied driving, but later reportedly admitted to it while talking to police.
She provided a blood sample for testing. The results indicate that Jones had four different controlled substances in her system during the crash - alprazolam, diazepam, nordiazepam and oxycodone.
Police reported that physical evidence on Jones and on the Hyundai placed her as the driver.
Jones was reportedly in possession of alprazolam, oxycodone and marijuana at the time of the crash.
On April 27, Jones was involved in another accident at Hancock Bridge Parkway and Pine Island Road. As a result, she was arrested and charged with DUI unlawful blood alcohol DUI with property damage.
According to a report, Jones made contact with another vehicle, then went the wrong way and turned into oncoming traffic. She made a U-turn in the eastbound lanes of Pine Island and came to a stop.
The officer on scene found Jones at fault for the accident, but she stated that the other driver hit her.
Jones appeared to be under the influence and was asked to participate in field sobriety tests, the report states.
Upon the completion of the tests, she was taken into custody and charged.
Jones consented to a breathalyzer test and the results were 0.00.
Police asked that she provide a urine sample, which Jones declined to do.
She was booked at the Lee County Jail and later released.
The State Attorney's Office has since filed an amended charge against Jones of reckless driving with damage person and or property in connection to the crash. The case remained open as of Tuesday.
Two weeks ago, Cape officers responded to a report of a man armed with a rifle in the Saratoga Lake Park area. An investigation led to the arrest of three people - two on drug charges - including Jones.
Upon arrival, officers observed Richard Ball, 34, arguing with two women inside of a parked car and armed with what appeared to be a shotgun. He was ordered to drop the weapon and was detained.
According to police, the gun was found to be a realistic-looking pellet gun.
When officers approached the scene, Jones reportedly attempted to conceal a pill bottle inside the car. Officers found 12 bottles of narcotics, 213.3 grams of hydrocodone and 125.9 grams of alprazolam.
Jones was charged with drugs possess controlled substance without prescription, fraud impersonation false identification given to law enforcement officer, knowingly drive while license suspended revoked and opium or derivative traffick 4 grams to under 30 kilograms, according to the jail booking records.
Ball and the second woman, Ashley Hoffrichter, 25, were also charged.
The Florida Department of Children and Families previously reported that it had opened an investigation on Jones just days before the January crash. Though officials could not release any information about the investigation, they said DCF received another report after the accident.
"We have investigated Ms. Jones in the past and did investigate the circumstances involving the car accident in January," Terri Durdaller, a DCF spokeswoman, said Tuesday. "The case has been closed."
However, the findings of the case are not public record.
"Details involving a DCF investigation only become public if it has been determined a child died at the hands of abuse, neglect or abandonment," she said.
Jones has court appearances for her open cases set for July 8, July 12 and July 22.