Janae Watkins is arraigned on child endangering charges.

Springfield woman accused of driving drunk, crashing SUV with 4 kids

A Springfield woman has been accused of crashing into parked cars while driving under the influence with four children in the SUV.

Janae Watkins, 20, was charged with four counts of endangering children, as well as criminal damaging, OVI, failure to stop after an accident, license forfeiture, child restraint and assault. She appeared in Clark County Municipal Court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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Police said they were called to a home on Cypress Street on Saturday night because someone was crashing a 2005 Chevy SUV into parked cars. When they arrived they alleged they found Watkins and suspected her of being the driver. When they interviewed her, officers said she told them that she feared for her safety after getting into an argument with a man, an affidavit says.

“Ms. Watkins stated that earlier she was involved in a verbal argument with (a man). Ms. Watkins stated that she feared for her safety, picked up child victim one and placed him in the rear seat (not in an approved child safety seat),” the affidavit says.

Along with the first child, police said three other children were also in the car.

Springfield police said she “made a u-turn in the street and struck a parked vehicle multiple times with the front of the vehicle to flee the scene.” After investigating, police alleged Watkins was breaking property inside the man’s home and purposely hit his parked car.

Watkins was also given a field sobriety test and officers alleged she failed.

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