Updated: 03/26/2014 10:11 PM KSTP.com By: Beth McDonough
The driver of a car that crashed into a pond in St. Louis Park, killing two kids, won’t face felony charges, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
Twenty-three-year-old Marion Guerrido of Brooklyn Center was driving on the Highway 100 ramp at Highway 7 on Thursday, Nov. 21, when she lost control, overcorrected and plunged into a retention pond. Five kids were in the car at the time, and two of them were killed: 7-year-old Alarious Guerrido and 5-year-old Zenavia Rennie.
Lt. Eric Roeske with the Minnesota State Patrol said the kids weren't pulled from the car until after the car was removed from the water by emergency crews. Witnesses were already trying to help when crews arrived.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman called it a "horrible tragedy" and said there’s nothing the criminal justice system can or should do about it. The attorney’s office says Guerrido wasn’t speeding, hadn’t been on her cellphone, and had no drugs or alcohol in her system. In short, there's no criminal conduct, "it was pretty clear it was an icy road, a bad situation, that she over-steered and the car went into a retention pond," according to Freeman.
KSTP stopped by Guerrido's home and talked with her mother, Cathie, who told us she's "happy because my daughter didn't do anything wrong she was an unfortunate victim of circumstance."
"What more punishment would you want this poor woman to go through, I think enough is enough," said Guerrido's attorney, Rick Petry.
Although Guerrido won't be charged with a felony, that doesn't mean she's completely in the clear. St. Louis Park authorities are taking a look to see if there's grounds for misdemeanor charges. That's because Guerrido had a learner's permit, not a license or licensed driver in the car. A misdemeanor essentially means getting a ticket for a moving violation.
As for the three surviving children, Guerrido told KSTP they are recovering at home now.
Five-year-old Amani is back in school and as playful as ever, 2-year-old Aliyana is in therapy and Zarihana had a few complications, but is making progress.