Police arrested a man on an aggravated DUI charge after he reportedly ran a stop sign, causing a crash that injured three children and left one of them on life support.
The two-vehicle crash Saturday night critically injured an 11-year-old girl and seriously injured a 12-year-old and a 17-year-old, according to Gulfport police.
Christopher Joseph Garrett, 31, of Biloxi, allegedly was impaired when he ran a stop sign, Police Sgt. Clayton Fulks said.
The crash occurred as patrol officers were looking for a 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, Fulks said. A caller had reported the driver appeared to be impaired.
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Police headed to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Arkansas Avenue and found the Tahoe had hit a 1999 Toyota Camry occupied by six people, Fulks said.
The crash occurred at 9:18 p.m. Saturday.
People in the Camry told officers the Tahoe ran a stop sign and hit them.
Garrett appeared to be impaired by alcohol or another substance, Fulks said.
According to the affidavit, police found Garrett with .99 grams of a white powdery substance that later tested positive for cocaine. Garrett also refused to provide a breath sample during the stop, according to the affidavit, but police obtained a blood warrant.
The 11-year-old was flown to USA Hospital in Mobile, Alabama.
Andreius Moore, his wife Alicia were in a vehicle with their three children when the crash occurred, said Ariel Barnes, Andreius Moore’s sister.
Barnes said her 11-year-old niece is in a coma and has a brain injury and a broken pelvic bone.
A sample of the substance seized from Garrett’s vehicle is being sent to a crime lab to conform the type of drug, Fulks said. A toxicology test also is pending.
Aggravated DUI is a charge that applies to negligent driving that causes death, permanent disability or disfigurement. It’s punishable by five to 25 years in prison.
Under state law, a person convicted of aggravated DUI can be sentenced separately for each person injured or killed.
Police also arrested Garrett on misdemeanor charges of running a stop sign, no proof of liability insurance and no tag or an expired tag.
Garrett was booked at the Harrison County jail early Sunday morning. Justice Court Judge Melvin Ray set his two felony bonds at a total of $250,000. The bonds include $200,000 for aggravated DUI and $50,000 for the drug charge.