Bystander saves child, mother arrested

OMAR, W.Va. — A woman was arrested Aug. 18 after she allegedly admitted to being under the influence of narcotics while she watched her toddler run into traffic on Route 44.

On Aug. 17, Deputy R.L. Johnson with the Logan County Sheriff’s Department (LCSD) responded to the Main Island Creek Fire Department to speak with a witness who reportedly saved the child from traffic only to be struck by passing vehicle’s mirror.

Johnson reports the witness was waiting for the school bus to arrive at Lancelot Street in Omar when a small child came out of a residence and ran into the roadway. The witness reportedly ran into the roadway to grab the child and was struck by a mirror.

The witness further advised Johnson they returned the child to the home from which it came where the mother reportedly spanked the child several times. The criminal complaint filed by Johnson says, “The mother told the witness that she was going back inside to take a nerve pill and shut the door.”

The next day, Johnson performed a welfare check at the residence on Route 44, and, upon speaking with the mother, Melissa Williams, 40, of Omar, Johnson reportedly observed her speech was slurred and her pupil’s were dilated. Upon executing a horizontal gaze nystagmus sobriety test, Johnson reports Williams exhibited sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation. Williams allegedly admitted to Johnson she had taken xanax throughout the day.

The criminal complaint filed by Johnson says, “…in questioning about the incident that occurred with the child running into the roadway, she admitted that she just stood on the porch and watched the child run into the road.” Johnson further reports Williams admitted to striking the child but stated she did not strike the child hard enough to cause injury.

Johnson reports he contacted Logan County 911 and had them contact the on call worker for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR). The child was placed with a family member while the WVDHHR conducted its investigation.

Williams was then transported to the LCSD where she reportedly signed a form acknowledging her Miranda Rights before making an audio recorded statement. Williams was later taken to Logan Regional Medical Center for a blood draw to determine what controlled substances were in her system.

Williams is charged with a felony count of child neglect creating risk of injury, and if she if found guilty, she could be forced to spend between one month and five years in a state correctional facility and pay up to $3,000 in fines. Bond was set to $5,000.

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Criminal complaints are public information. Charges listed in a complaint are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


By Owen Wells

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Owen Wells is reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]


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