Charges: DUI suspect who hit kids was over twice the legal limit
Anchorage police say a Providence Alaska Medical Center nurse whose SUV struck and severely injured two children riding their bikes in Eagle River had over twice the state's legal limit of alcohol in her system.
Vicie Zielinski, 60, was arraigned Monday on two counts of first-degree assault and one of DUI in the weekend collision.
APD officers responded to the intersection of the Old Glenn Highway and Coronado Road just before 4 p.m. Sunday after reports of a vehicle-pedestrian collision involving two minors, according to a police statement.
"The preliminary investigation found that a male juvenile and female juvenile were riding their bikes on the sidewalk of the Old Glenn Highway when a silver 2014 Subaru drove onto the sidewalk as if it were making a lane change," APD officials wrote. "The vehicle accelerated to a high rate of speed and struck both juveniles head on."
The children, who have not been identified, were taken to Providence with serious injuries. According to charging documents against Zielinski, the boy had several broken bones in his right leg as well as significant facial injuries. The girl broke her left eye socket and also sustained a bruised lung.
Zielinski stayed on the scene, according to police, but failed all her field sobriety tests. A further test documented her alcohol level at .189, well beyond Alaska's legal limit for driving of .08.
At her arraignment Zielinski, who has no prior criminal cases in Alaska according to court records, seemed both dazed and occasionally tearful. She told the judge she could afford her own attorney but wasn't sure how long it would take to hire one.
"I'm not sure, I'll do it as quick as I can," she said. "I never had to hire one before."
Magistrate Judge Jennifer Manculich said she did not believe Zielinski to be a flight risk. She set Zielinski's bail at $10,000, ordering further release conditions including no driving or contact with the victims or their families.
Manculich also ordered alcohol monitoring, to make sure Zielinski didn't drink.
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