A Cocolalla, Idaho, mother of two was charged Tuesday with vehicular manslaughter for the death of her 6-year-old son.
Pamela Weick, 31, was also charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol for driving her Chevrolet Blazer in front of an oncoming semitruck.
The Jan. 6 collision killed her son Joshua Weick-Fazzino and seriously injured her 5-year-old daughter, Sarah.
Blood tests show that Pamela Weick’s blood alcohol level was .10 - over the legal limit. The blood test was conducted three hours after the collision, said Tevis Hull, Bonner County prosecutor.
And Kootenai County court records show that Weick had been charged twice in the past for drunken driving.
But Pamela Weick’s family members say the accident has devastated a mother who tried to do the best for her children and doted on her son who was sick with a kidney disorder.
“Pamela spent 99.9 percent of her time thinking about Josh and his illness,” said Tina Weick, Pamela’s sister-in-law. “She was always making sure he would have the best life he could, that’s what makes this so tragic.”
About 12:15 a.m. Jan. 6, Pamela Weick was driving northeast on Granite Loop Road.
Joshua was in the back seat behind his mother, wearing a seat belt. Sarah was sitting in the front passenger seat, also wearing a seat belt, according to Idaho State Police.
Weick kept driving when she came to a stop sign at the intersection with U.S. Highway 95, Hull said.
Truck driver Merle Johnson said Weick shot onto the highway in front of him. He tried to swerve but didn’t have time and plowed into the side of her vehicle.
Joshua died at the scene from head injuries. Sarah was taken to the hospital with a fractured skull and abdominal injuries. She was released from the hospital last week and has been spending time with both her mother and her father, Jace Fazzino, said Tina Weick.
Fazzino could not be reached for comment.
Pamela Weick is also recovering from lung injuries she suffered in the accident and the anguish of losing her son.
“Pamela was very excited to be a mom and she did a fine, fine job of it,” Tina said.
Joshua was diagnosed with a kidney disorder when he was 2, she said. Although the family had expected him to grow out of it, he had not been doing well recently, she said.
“Truthfully at the time of the accident (Pamela) had been under a great deal of stress with Josh’s illness progressing.”
Pamela had also been dealing with her own battle against cancer and the breakup of a longtime relationship, Tina Weick said.
Weick was first cited for drunken driving in March 1984 and pleaded guilty. She was fined $500 and sentenced to two days in jail, outpatient alcohol treatment and a year of unsupervised probation.
In June, 1995, Weick was again cited for drunken driving. Weick weaved across both lanes of traffic and nearly ran two Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies off the road, according to a sheriff’s report.
A breath test showed her blood alcohol level at .18 more than an hour after a deputy arrested her, according to the report.
Weick is scheduled to plead guilty and be sentenced for the June drunken driving ticket in March, according to court records.
Tina Weick said Pamela and her daughter are trying to cope with Josh’s death together.
“They both try to talk about it, they try to work it out together,” Tina Weick said.
But Pamela “is scared to death,” Tina Weick said. “She is afraid of what her future holds for her - she has no son, she could lose her daughter, she could be convicted and go to prison.”
She could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the charges filed Tuesday.
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