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Woman Arrested After Crashing And Injuring Her Children While Fleeing From Police
Updated August 25, 2014 7:00 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BLOOMFIELD) - 28-year-old Jessica A. Purtlebaugh of Bloomfield was arrested on a warrant Thursday after two of her children were injured in an accident after she after she allegedly tried to elude a state trooper last July.

Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw filed the case Wednesday and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Indiana State Police Senior Trooper Eric Nash reported that Purtlebaugh was driving 80 mph in a 55 mph zone on the morning of July 28, 2013. He says Purtlebaugh traveling east on State Road 58 west of County Road 500 East when he first noticed that she was speeding.

Nash was heading west, so he activated his emergency lights and turned around to follow Purtlebaugh's Chevy S-10. He stated in a court document that he drove around a curve and first didn't see the vehicle, but then noticed a cloud of dust and smoke before spotting the Chevy in a private yard off the southeast side of the intersection of State Road 58 and County Road 500 East. The truck had struck an embankment.

Purtlebaugh was outside the vehicle with blood on her face, and three small children were crying in the Chevy. Nash reported that two of the children were sharing a seat belt, and all three had blood on their heads, faces, and clothes. The children were 10, five, and four years of age.

According to Nash, the 10-year-old appeared to have had three or four teeth knocked out and also to have bitten all the way through her bottom lip. The child was checked at IU Health in Bloomington and later transferred to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis with injuries including a nondisplaced fracture across her anterior Maxilla and comminuted fractures of her nasal bones.

The four-year-old had one of his sisters' blood on him, but was not injured.

The five-year-old had a laceration to the middle of her forehead and a large gash down the left side of her face. He noted that she was taken to IU Health in Bloomington for her injuries.

Nash stated in the court document that while he was applying pressure to the gash on the five-year-old's head, she kept crying and asking him not to take her mommy to jail again.

"[She] kept asking me not to take mommy to jail and is mommy coming to the hospital with her," he reported. "I was trying to calm her while I was rendering first aid."

He added that Purtlebaugh kept repeating, "Mommy is so sorry, Mommy should have stopped!"

Troopers Paul Stolz, Jr. and John "Wes" Alexander arrived and assisted Nash with first aid. The three troopers continued treating the children's injuries until EMT's arrived and took over.

Nash says Purtlebaugh agreed to a blood test and indicated that she had a prescription for Hydrocodone and had smoked marijuana about three days previously. She rode to Bloomington Hospital in the ambulance with her children, and Nash met her there to talk to her.

Purtlebaugh told police that she had thought about not stopping her vehicle, because she thought she would go to jail if she stopped, and that at the last second she decided to stop and tried to pull over onto CR 500 E but was driving too fast to make the turn.

Nash noted that a child's booster seat and child's car seat were in the bed of the truck she was driving, and that Purtlebaugh told him there was not enough room for her and the three kids to ride in the Chevy S-10 with the car or booster seat in the truck.

Purtlebaugh told police that her soon to be ex-husband filled her head full of lies and that he had told her that if she ever got stopped she would go to jail for not having a driver's license. Nash informed her that driving 80 mph in a 55 mph zone and driving while suspended were infractions that would have resulted in tickets, and that she had not done anything to warrant going to jail until she tried to elude him.

Purtlebaugh faces preliminary charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, a class B felony, neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, a class C felony, and neglect of a dependent where the dependent is put in a situation endangering the dependent's life or health, a class D felony. Her bond was set at $29,000 with an optional cash amount of $2,900.

In October of 2013, Purtlebaugh was ticketed for speeding, driving while suspended, and two child restraint violations for the incident in July.

In May of this year, Purtlebaugh plead guilty to a class D felony theft that occurred in October of 2013.



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