UPDATE: Woman arrested following car accident with son

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 | 2:36 p.m. CDT; updated 9:40 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 9, 2011

COLUMBIA — A Columbia woman was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated following a vehicle accident Monday night that sent her and her 5-year-old son to the hospital, Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Highway Patrol said.

Elizabeth Klaus, 32, who has two previous DWI arrests, and her son, Lucas, were listed  as being in "good" condition Tuesday afternoon, University Hospital spokesman Jeff Hoelscher said.


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The accident occurred on Route E north of Columbia about 5:45 p.m. Monday.

The vehicle, driven by Klaus of Columbia, careened off Route E near Wilcox Road, settling inches deep in the embankment on the other side of Rocky Fork Creek, Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Kyle Green said. He said the vehicle traveled more than 300 feet before vaulting across the creek and coming to a stop.

Firefighters found the boy outside of the blue Ford Escape, said Boone County Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Doug Westhoff. It is not clear whether the boy was ejected from the SUV, but he was not in a safety seat at the time of the accident, according to a highway patrol report.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, children are required to be in a safety or booster seat if they are between 4 and 7 years old and between 40 and 80 pounds — unless they are more than 4 feet 9 inches tall.  

Klaus was unconscious when emergency services arrived, but she regained consciousness and was coherent when University Hospital ambulances took her from the scene, Westhoff said. She had minor injuries. The boy was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries.

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