Troopers: Mother charged with DUI after young children die in crash

Published: Jan. 1, 2014 at 10:27 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2014 at 10:28 PM EST
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(Source: WYFF)
(Source: WYFF)
Saryia Unique Patton-Dean (Source: WYFF)
Saryia Unique Patton-Dean (Source: WYFF)
Taniyia Chavez Leann Gambrell (Source: WYFF)
Taniyia Chavez Leann Gambrell (Source: WYFF)

OCONEE COUNTY, SC (WYFF) — A mother has been charged with driving under the influence after her two young children were killed in a car crash, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Troopers said Melissa Patton, 32, is charged with two counts of felony driving under the influence and driving under suspension.

According to troopers, Patton was driving a car at 2:15 a.m. Wednesday on Wells Highway when the car traveled off the road, hit a church sign and overturned.

Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis said her children, 1-year-old Taniyia Chavez Leann Gambrell and 4-year-old Saryia Unique Patton-Dean were killed in the crash.

"Both children were restrained and had to be extricated from the vehicle by first responders," said Addis. "The 1-year-old child was found in a child safety seat. She was pronounced dead at the scene."

"The 4-year-old Taniyia was restrained by a shoulder-lap belt assembly," said Addis. "She sustained cardiac arrest at the scene."

Addis said the toddler was taken to the hospital by paramedics. She was pronounced dead at 3:13 a.m.

Both girls appeared to have died from head injuries, Addis said.

Troopers said Patton and a male passenger were taken to the hospital after the crash.

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