A week after her husband pleaded guilty to killing five people in a head-on crash, officers arrested Falisha Abreu, 22, of Oakdale on suspicion of driving under the influence Monday morning, authorities said.
Abreu was driving erratically along Patterson and Coffee roads and ran several cars off the road, California Highway Patrol officer Tom Killian said. The incident ended, he said, with officers ordering her via loudspeaker to remove her car from a roundabout, where she stopped at Claratina Avenue and Coffee Road. When she did not respond, officers suspected she was under the influence of drugs. Upon closer inspection, they found a mattress lodged under her 1990 Ford LTD.
"They think she might have picked that up on the shoulder. No one is quite sure where the mattress came from," Killian said.
Officers believe she was driving under the influence of prescription drugs, Killian said.
No one was injured. Abreu complained of stomach pains.
Witnesses told officers Abreu hit a 2002 Chevy 1500 pickup about 7:26 a.m. on Patterson Road, Killian said. She continued east on Patterson and turned south onto Coffee before stopping at the roundabout. All the while, people were calling authorities to report that she had driven three vehicles off the road.
Abreu was taken to Memorial Medical Center and later released to family members, Killian said. She could not be reached by phone.
Husband guilty in 5 fatalities
Last week, Abreu's husband pleaded guilty to five counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The case dates back to Dec. 7, 2006, when Justin Chase Christensen of Oakdale drifted into oncoming traffic on Valley Home Road and into a car with five nursery workers headed to Valley Crest Tree Co. Results of blood tests showed Christensen was on eight drugs, including morphine.
Ten months after that crash, Abreu spun out of control about 200 feet south of the accident site. She suffered serious injuries after hitting a telephone pole and two trees. She was taken to Memorial Medical Center.
The couple's son, a toddler, was in a car seat and suffered minor injuries.
Days later, Abreu was cited on suspicion of driving on a suspended license and driving without insurance.
Bee staff writer Inga Miller contributed to this report.
Bee staff writer Eve Hightower can be reached at 578-2382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.