Woman faces criminal vehicular operation charge tied to crash

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017

An Albert Lea woman who was allegedly driving drunk during a crash that injured another person in May was charged earlier this month in Freeborn County District Court.

Ashley Ysabelle Lopez, 30, is charged with gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation and gross misdemeanor third-degree driving while intoxicated. She reportedly failed to appear for her first appearance on the charge on Thursday.

Ashley Ysabelle Lopez

Court documents state Lopez was charged after an Albert Lea police officer responded to a report of a vehicle in the ditch on May 12 in the area of the intersection of Minnesota Highway 13 and Sunset Street. Upon arriving, the officer reportedly saw a female in a black Volkswagen who had suffered a laceration over her right eye in a crash with a Lincoln Navigator that Lopez later admitted to driving. The female was transported to the emergency room.

The Navigator sustained severe damage in the crash and was reportedly unoccupied when an officer arrived, and there was a strong odor of beer and blood smeared inside the vehicle, court documents state.

Officers decided to go to the address of the registered owner of the Navigator. There were people standing near a parked vehicle at the end of Abbott Street, court documents state.

Lopez was reportedly nearby, and she allegedly said she was traveling from Austin and had gotten into a car crash. She reported they were taking a girl to the hospital because she needed stitches.

Court documents state after initially offering conflicting stories about who was driving the Navigator, Lopez admitted she had driven the vehicle, saying she was driving down Highway 13 in the right lane when a car drove in front of her. She allegedly said she was more worried because she had been drinking.

An officer reportedly noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, and Lopez allegedly had slurred speech, as well as bloodshot and watery eyes.

She allegedly had a .163 blood-alcohol content in a preliminary breath test, and one of the passengers in her vehicle was reportedly under the age of 16.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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