Grandma charged with murder in drunken wreck that kills infant grandchild
By Sarah Heath
(KMOV) – A grandmother faces 20 years behind bars for killing her granddaughter in a drunk driving accident in 2011.
On July 4, 2011, Theresa Fortner was driving from Arnold to St. Louis with her 20-month-old granddaughter when she crashed into a street sign, a house, a tree and a fence as she exited Interstate 55.
According to police, family members told Fortner not to drive as she had consumed several beverages containing alcohol. Her blood alcohol was .226 at the time of the wreck with a legal limit being .08.
Witnesses say she was driving so fast that the wheels on the driver’s side were not touching the ground.
Both Fortner and the child were rushed to an area hospital where the child was pronounced dead the next day, suffering from severe blunt force trauma.
A black box inside the car revealed Fortner was driving at approximately 69 mph and never applied the brakes before the collision.
Fortner was found guilty of second-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child.