STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A Modesto mother driving with her three kids in the car ended up underwater in a Hughson canal late Monday evening.
Jennifer Hansen was identified as the driver, said California Highway Patrol spokesperson Tom Olsen. Hansen was later arrested under the suspicion of driving under the influence.
Her 12-year-old daughter and her two sons, ages 5 and 10, were also in the car.
Olsen estimated the irrigation canal is about 6 feet deep.
“Crashes like this usually don’t end in this manner,” Olsen said. “This could have easily been four drowning victims.”
After getting out of the canal, the family walked down Lowe Road to a nearby home and asked for help.
“That person who owns that house actually was the one who called authorities,” Olsen said,
Investigators believe Hansen was lost.
“She was trying to find her way home to the Modesto area and she got confused,” Olsen said. “I’m sure her state of intoxication had a role in her getting lost on this roadway.”
In addition to three charges of child endangerment, Hansen faces a charge of resisting arrest.
“The mother became a little bit aggressive towards officers,” Olsen said.
Olsen said the victims, in this case, are the three children.
“This mother obviously made a bad decision, drinking and driving, and in placing her own children in that vehicle,” Olsen said. “We can only hope that she has learned her lesson and that this will never occur again because those children deserve better.”
Though no one was seriously injured in the crash, Olsen said the 12-year-old daughter did complain of some pain but didn’t need medical treatment.