A New Port Richey police officer contacted a local woman on Monday morning about a crash.
The officer had learned that a green Ford Explorer SUV went off the road at 6827 Congress Ave. before dawn on March 25, struck a tree and flipped over. The airbag deployed, and the vehicle’s front end suffered major damage, according to an arrest report from the New Port Richey Police Department.
The vehicle was unoccupied when the police arrived, and a search with multiple officers and K-9 units failed to find the people who had been inside.
More than two hours later, the officer responded to a call for medical assistance.
Crystal Rusaw, 24, told the officer she had been the driver of the Ford. She said she lost control of the vehicle while talking on a cell phone.
She said she exited the vehicle and found that the 4-year-old boy she had been carrying in the rear passenger seat had been ejected from the Ford and had landed on the ground.
Instead of waiting for police or paramedics to arrive, Rusaw walked to her mother’s house on Rowan Road, the officer said.
The boy had scratches on his face. He was Bayflighted to a hospital after the call for medical assistance, police say.
The officer noticed Rusaw showed signs of impairment, in his report, and said he found an open bottle of Corona in the vehicle.
Rusaw, of 6600 Atrio Terrace, was arrested Monday and was charged with leaving the scene of a crash and child neglect. She remained in the Land O' Lakes Jail Tuesday in lieu of $5,000 bail.