Woman smiles in mugshot after causing fatal DUI crash, authorities say
'Our lives are changed forever,' victim's daughter says
MARION COUNTY, Fla. – An Ocala woman smiled ear-to-ear in her mugshot after causing a crash while driving drunk that killed a 60-year-old woman, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said Angenette Marie Welk was driving her 2011 Chevrolet Avalon east on U.S. Highway 27 around 11:54 a.m. Thursday when she failed to brake in time to avoid hitting the vehicles that were stopped in front of her.
Welk rear-ended a Hyundai Elantra with enough force to sandwich that vehicle between Welk's sedan and a tractor-trailer that was directly in front of it, the crash report said.
The driver of the Elantra, 18-year-old Shiyanne Kroll, suffered minor injuries, while her mother, 60-year-old Sandra Clarkson, who was the passenger, suffered critical injuries and died days later at Orlando Regional Medical Center, according to authorities.
"I think it was a lot of pressure on (Clarkson on) the impact and that's what caused it all to happen to her like that," Kroll said.
The truck driver was not injured.
Troopers said Welk was arrested at the scene of the crash on charges of DUI, DUI with property damage and DUI with great bodily harm. FHP officials said they are working with the state attorney's office to upgrade Welk's charge to DUI manslaughter.
NEW: FHP says they are working with the state attorney to upgrade charges against Angenette Welk, 44 , seen smiling in her mugshot after FHP says she rammed into a back of a car of an 18 year old daughter and mom. Family tells me mom, Sandra Clarkson, died Monday @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/4RrgM3t1J8— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) May 16, 2018
Records show that Welk had problems following instructions during a field sobriety test, her breath smelled of alcohol and her blood alcohol content was .172, which is more than twice the legal limit.
Welk told troopers that she crashed because she dropped her phone in the car, the report said.
She has since bonded out of the Marion County Jail.
Clarkson's daughter, Keonna Sciacca, said family members are devastated to lose Clarkson in a crash that happened less than a week before Mother's Day.
“Our lives are changed forever,” Sciacca said.
Sciacca said her mother suffered damage to her brain, including fluid and bleeding, and she suffered a stroke. Family members said Clarkson was both paralyzed and brain-dead after the crash, despite multiple operations.
"It's definitely wrecked our family forever, not just temporarily, this was a permanent thing that (Welk) did. (I'm) trying to cope with the fact I won't see her walk again, she won't be home when I get home from work or in the mornings when I get home from work. I won't be able to talk to her, I won't see her laugh, she won't see me laugh. I can't hug her I can't tell her, 'Goodnight, I love you,'" Sciacca said in tears. "It's destroyed us."
Both sisters agreed that seeing Welk smile in her mugshot was beyond insulting.
"That disgusts me and that means she has no remorse for what she did at all and I hope that judge sees that picture and says the same thing," Kroll said.
While both women said they hope Welk receives the maximum sentence, they know that nothing can bring their mother back.
"If you are out drinking, there is no reason not to put your keys down and Uber, Lyft. Thats all it takes to destroy a family is one bad decision," Sciacca said.
Court records show Welk entered a plea of not guilty.
A GoFundMe account has been established to help pay for Clarkson's funeral expenses.
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