Update: Driver speaks out following accident in Loganville

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Wreck in Loganville, Ga. on Feb. 17, that sent two people to the hospital and resulted in DUI charges. Photo credit: Paige Cortiss, Town and Country Pet Salon.

Update

After what the family and friends felt were judgmental comments posted on social media, the driver of a car that ended up against a tree on Friday wanted to clarify how the accident happened and what may have prompted the charges. Nikki VanBuren said the accident happened because of damage to the vehicle that caused it to lock up, stripping her of control over it. She and her son were both transported to different hospitals following the accident and Van Buren was given several citations, including for driving under the influence – drugs less safe.

“They got that charge based on papers that were in the back of my vehicle from a prescription that I had from July 28, 2016. There were no drugs in the car and I had not taken any drugs,” VanBuren said. “Just that paper – the officer left it on the console of my car.”

VanBuren said she had head trauma as a child and as a result her family were very concerned about head injuries that she could have received in Friday’s accident. She said her mother told the officer at the hospital that the main concern at that time was her daughter. She said she believes that is why it was taken as a refusal.

“When he came to the hospital to talk to me, all I was worried about was my son. My mother was worried about any blunt force trauma because of the accident  I had when I was 15, that is why she told them to leave,” VanBuren said. “I think she told them to leave and that they needed to get a warrant if they wanted any more information because we had medical issues we needed to handle. I just wish people would understand I was not under the influence of any drugs – or alchol either.”

VanBuren said both she and her son are recovering and doing well.

“Thanks to God, we have an amazing God that we serve and as long as me and my son are fine, that’s really all that matters. But I wish that all the rumors would stop. I thought it was supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, that’s the way the court system is supposed to work. Everybody needs to be reminded of that,” she said.

VanBuren said she does have an attorney and will be contesting the charges.

Initial story

A Loganville woman was charged with driving under the influence, drugs less safe, failure to maintain lane and DUI endangerment of a child under age 14 following an accident Friday that had ended with the car up against a tree.

According to Robbie Schwartz with the City of Loganville, the call came in to the Loganville Police Department at 12.38 p.m. on Friday.

“A 2008 Ford Expedition that was traveling north on Highway 81 –  the vehicle left the highway just past Rock Road, crossed a ditch and made contact with a sign at 4826 Highway 81, continuing through the front yard of that address before crossing another ditch. The vehicle then apparently went airborne, before landing on Shannon Road, crossing the road and coming to rest upright against a tree,” Schwartz said.

Paige Cortiss, owner of Town and Country Pet Salon, said it was her business sign and yard that were damaged by the vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle, Ashley Nicole VanBuren, age unkown at the time of the incident, of Loganville, was cited for failure to maintain lane, DUI drugs less safe and DUI endangerment of child under age 14.

“VanBuren was able to exit the vehicle and retrieve a 9-year-old boy from the vehicle as well. She was taken by ambulance to Gwinnett Medical for facial injuries and the child was taken by ambulance to Egleston Children’s Hospital for a head injury and complaints of back injury,” Schwartz said. “VanBuren refused the state administered chemical test of her blood at the hospital.”

Editor’s Note: An arrest or charge does not constitute a conviction.

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