Driver disputes claims after New Year's Day crash - WSMV Channel 4

Driver disputes claims after New Year's Day crash

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TULLAHOMA, TN (WSMV) -

A Tullahoma mother says she has been portrayed as a monster and is now defending herself after a New Year's Day crash.

Police said the woman crashed her car and then ran from the scene, leaving two young children in the vehicle.

However, that mother is telling a different story.

"They're just making me sound horrible," said driver Donna Wright.

White, 53, reportedly crashed her car, fled the scene and left the young girls, ages 2 and 10, inside.

Now, she says that is not quite how it happened, and there were other adults present.

"There were adults in there. That girl's mother and the other's grandmother were in there," Wright said. "They're making it sound like I just left children there by themselves, and I didn't."

Wright, along with passengers Gary Painter, two other women and the two young girls were on their way to Tullahoma when White took a curve too fast on Highway 130 near Fletcher Road, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

The Ford Escort crashed into a utility pole, and Wright allegedly ran from the scene.

"When I came to, I was in a field. The only thing I could think I was running for help or something," Wright said.

Authorities said Wright and Painter left the scene and didn't help the other passengers. The two women and the children were taken to the hospital, and the 2-year-old was reportedly not restrained in a child safety seat.

THP officials said Wright surrendered to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office about six hours after the crash.

Wrights claims she was disoriented after the crash, and doctors have since said she suffered a concussion and whiplash.

Now, she is having a difficult time dealing with what happened and said folks are trying to make her out to be a monster.

"Every time I turn around, the phone's ringing. I been hearing threats. I've been hearing all kind of bad things," Wright said.

Wright said she hopes to wake up from what has turned out to be a nightmare experience.

"I'm so thankful everybody survived that car wreck. I dreamed I keep seeing that car with everybody dead in it. I can't take much more of this," she said.

Wright faces several charges, including reckless endangerment, and Painter was charged with failing to render aid.

Officials told Channel 4 News three of the four passengers were treated and released from the hospital.

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