Drugged mother passes out while driving
by Wes Mayer
A woman was arrested Monday after Newnan Police officers found her passed out in her vehicle with two children in the car. One of the children managed to commandeer the vehicle and safely stop it after traveling through two intersections.
At 10:06 p.m., Officers Parker Smith and Thomas Lanyi with the Newnan Police Department were dispatched to the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot on Bullsboro Drive to check on a blue Dodge Durango. Smith wrote in an incident report that they arrived shortly after emergency medical personnel and found three occupants in the vehicle — two children, ages 13 and 6, and their mother, later identified as Rebecca Lynn Shelton, 39, who was passed out in the driver’s seat.
Emergency personnel tended to Shelton, and officers spoke to her 13-year-old son, who turned out to be the one responsible for keeping himself, his little brother and his mother out of harm’s way.
The juvenile told officers they were driving home to LaGrange when his mother passed out with the vehicle in motion on Bullsboro Drive, according to Smith.
Fortunately, Smith said, the 13-year-old was able to grab the wheel, move his mother’s legs, operate the pedals himself and drive the vehicle — he told officers he drove through two intersections and was able to pull over and stop the car in the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot.
The juvenile said he noticed his mother appeared to be acting differently before getting in the vehicle — similar to how she would act under the influence of narcotics, Smith reported. Officers then searched the car looking for the driver’s identification and found a pill bottle containing nine Xanax pills in the center console. They also found Shelton’s identification in her purse, and the name on the pill bottle was not hers.
Shelton was transported to Piedmont Newnan Hospital for emergency treatment, the officer said, and Shelton’s stepdaughter arrived on scene to take the children. The stepdaughter also told officers Shelton should not be driving because she has a suspended license, officers said.
Officers later spoke with Shelton in the hospital, and Smith described her as having glassy, dilated eyes and slurred speech, and she remembered nothing from the incident. Shelton claimed the pills were hers, given to her by a friend, and she told officers she took one around 1 p.m.
Shelton was released from the hospital around 4 a.m., Smith reported, and officers returned to arrest her for driving under the influence of narcotics, two counts of driving under the influence endangering a child, driving with a suspended license and with suspended registration, possession of schedule IV narcotics and drugs not kept in original container. Shelton was transported to the Coweta County Jail.