Mother of underage driver charged in Fayetteville wreck
Posted July 1, 2011
Fayetteville, N.C. — The mother of a 15-year-old who police say caused a wreck in Fayetteville this week faces criminal charges in the case.
Winona Marie Simmons, 43, of 830 Danish Drive, was charged Friday with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She was released on a $2,500 bond.
Simmons said she asked her daughter to go to Walmart for food and medicine because she wasn't feeling well – she is pregnant and has arthritis – with a stop at a Citgo gas station on the way home.
"I'm sick. I thought it would be OK for her to get food and medicine. I'm so sorry," a sobbing Simmons said.
Police said the unlicensed teen driver turned left into oncoming traffic Wednesday afternoon near the Citgo at the intersection of Yadkin and Fillyaw roads.
"There was a cement truck in front of her. She couldn't see around the truck," Simmons said.
Yordan Medina, a Fort Bragg soldier riding a motorcycle, and a pickup truck collided with the girl's car. Medina suffered serious injuries but was released Friday from Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
A second pickup swerved to avoid Medina's motorcycle and hit two other cars, police said.
"I apologize. I really apologize," Simmons said. "It was right up the street, less than a half a mile. I thought that everything would be fine."
The 15-year-old and her 10-year-old sister, who was riding in the car, suffered minor injuries, police said.
"She's mentally shook. She can't make complete statements. She's still in shock," Simmons said of her older daughter. "It just made me realize I need to be a better parent. I just need to accept more responsibility. I need to be stronger."