Windermere woman charged with child neglect, DUI

Police: Woman drove wrong way down street, involved in 3 crashes with son in car

By Lisa Bell - Anchor

EUSTIS, Fla. - A Windermere mom is charged with child neglect and DUI after police say she was driving the wrong way down a street, and was involved in three crashes with her 6-year-old son in the car.

Christine Ellis, 40, told Eustis police she wasn't drunk, but later admitted she took 10 Ambien pills earlier in the day.

Police said they pulled Ellis over on Nov. 21 around 8:30 p.m., after spotting her driving the wrong direction on Grove Street, then hitting the curb near the intersection of Grove and Hazzard Avenue.

According to police, Ellis failed a series of sobriety tests conducted inside their booking room. On police video, Ellis can be seen yawning while being interviewed by detectives.

At one point, a Eustis officer asked Ellis if she knew what town she was in.

"Well, for some reason I got turned around, so no, I don't," replied Ellis.

Ellis told police she and her son were on their way from their Windermere home to Jacksonville, but she missed her turn.

The mom admitted to taking Ambien earlier in the day, saying it makes her lose weight, feel light-headed and more.

"It makes me stupid," admitted Ellis. "Irresponsible."

"When you say stupid, what do you mean?" asked the officer.

"Wrecking cars with my kids in the car," said Ellis.

"How many wrecks have you had today?" asked the officer.

"I've had three," replied Ellis.

When Eustis police pulled over Ellis, they said they noticed a large amount of front end damage to Ellis' vehicle and her 6-year-old son was sitting in the front passenger seat.

According to a Eustis police report, the little boy, stated the officers "were much nicer than the other officers they spoke to today."

However, when Ellis was asked where the other crashes had taken place, she told police she could not remember.

Ellis has since bonded out of the Lake County jail.

Police said her son was released to a family friend and the incident was reported to the Department of Children and Families.

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