Ballwin mother attempts suicide using fireworks with children in car

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by KMOV.com Staff | @KMOV

KMOV.com

Posted on February 25, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 26 at 1:41 PM

(KMOV) -- Police say a Ballwin mother tried to commit suicide by setting fireworks to her family’s vehicle with her children still inside.

Kara Koriath, 45, was charged Tuesday with two counts of first-degree assault after the incident on Nov. 20 left her sons with burns and smoke inhalation.

Police say Koriath woke up her two teen sons that day and told them they had to go to the hospital because her grandmother had a heart attack.

According to court documents, she was driving northbound on Interstate 270 south of Clayton Rd. when someone saw her light an object. The witness then heard popping noises and saw the vehicle engulfed in flames.

Police say the vehicle then veered off the interstate and struck a sign.

All three were taken to the hospital with serious injuries and Koriath was arrested at the time on suspicion of DWI.

Click here to view photos of the original scene

Firefighters later searched her vehicle and found packages of fireworks strategically placed and tied together with fuses and pipe cleaners.

“There were consumer mortar shells attached to the driver’s seat headrest, front passenger headrest and headrest on rear passenger seat,” court documents said. “Lighter fluid and more fireworks were found in the glove compartment.”

Raw: Fireworks-induced wreck causes traffic mess on I-270

According to court documents, the driver’s side floorboard appeared to be soaked in gasoline and a lighter was found melted in debris.

Police later determined the grandmother was never in the hospital and the route she took was the one her boyfriend would take to drop his kids off at school

Authorities say discovered several good-bye text messages to her boyfriend, one of which stated, “It will haunt you every day of your life” after she had given him an ultimatum to leave his wife for her.

Authorities said officers searched her home and found pipe cleaners similar to the ones used in the fire. They also discovered an “after death type instruction,” a will and testament, recently purchased life insurance and suicide letters.

According to court documents, the teens’ burns are still being treated and are in the healing process.

After the crash two right lanes of the interstate were closed for hours and traffic was backed up for about eight miles.

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