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Lake Elsinore Mother Of Three Arrested For Child Endangerment

Maura Garcia, 37, was arrested for child endangerment early Sunday afternoon.

A Lake Elsinore mother of three was arrested Sunday for child endangerment after a truck she and her children were riding in flipped over.

Maura Garcia, 37, was arrested for child endangerment early Sunday afternoon after officers from the Lake Elsinore Police Department responded to an injury collision at the intersection of Highway 74 and Gunnerson Street.

According to the police report, Garcia and her three children, ages 5, 3, and 1, were riding in a 1994 Mazda truck that was being towed, using a tow strap, by a 2004 Ford truck. As the two vehicles tried to negotiate a right-hand turn onto Gunnerson from the eastbound 74, the Mazda carrying Garcia and her children flipped over.

Garcia and her children were not wearing safety restraints; the younger children were not in car seats, the police report stated. No one was ejected from the truck.

Garcia hid her children from police and EMT officials to avoid being charged with a crime, but they were located and provided treatment at a residence nearby, according to the report.

The two youngest children were transported to a local hospital for minor injuries; the 5-year-old was released to his father at the scene, the report stated.

UPDATE NOTE: We checked with Riverside County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Cpl. Courtney Donowho on towing laws. According to Cpl. Donowho, it is illegal to tow with just a strap. Additionally, under all circumstances it is illegal for occupants to be in a vehicle that's being towed.

J Carabine April 04, 2011 at 05:53 PM
:(:( !!! This is incredible that anyone would put their children in this kind of danger. No seat belts or car seats ? Then she hid the children ? This makes me angry and I hope they prosecute her to the full extent of the law. Was it the father that was driving the 'towing truck?
Donna April 04, 2011 at 08:15 PM
If the father was towing and then went to hide the children, I hope they prosecute both of them to the full extent of the law!!
kimberly April 04, 2011 at 11:08 PM
I was on my way home and i saw the accident, and she is so lucky that no one was thrown from the car or killed. How the hell are you going to have little kids in the car and not have them in car seats or have on seat belts. How stupid can she be. Then going and hiding them is ridiculous!! Myself being Hispanic is ashamed for her.
J Carabine April 04, 2011 at 11:53 PM
Sadly, I do see a lot of people having kids ( more than fit in the car ) riding on the laps of adults or standing on the seats. Babies on laps:( .
Diana April 05, 2011 at 12:46 AM
It' s just like the cell phone laws, and the seat belt law people think that laws are for everyone else but them, not stopping to think that they can hurt others by their negligence and I just cannot imagine putting my own children in danger, however I can remember the day when we could ride in the back of a truck and my Son stood up right by me when I drove as I did with my parents and we all seemed to survive without the laws, or seat belts, makes me wonder if we were better off then or if we're better off now with all these laws that seem to control us more and more. Really torn on issues of safety or control that are mandated because people can't think for themselves. Seems kind of strange that I can ride down the hwy 70MPH without a seat belt on my Harley but I have to have one in my truck??? Makes no sense!!!
Kathryn April 05, 2011 at 03:14 AM
Hopefully this woman does some time behind bars or the kids get taken away. What a totally irresponsible stupid thing for this mother to do... I see this ALOT, kids and babies riding in cars without seat-belts. HELLO people, get a clue... it is dangerous and illegal!!!
Anon April 05, 2011 at 09:35 PM
In-breeding at its best! I am sure we are paying their way in every way possible too! Stupid people should not breed!
Donna April 05, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Wondering minds need to know, was the driver of the Ford Truck also cited? How stupid can people be, really?? I hope CPS steps in on this!!
Joanie April 10, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Race has nothing to do with making bad choices - we all do, generally without dire consequences. This lady probably never thought about the consequences and endangerment she was placing both herself and her children into. Yes, the children should have been in car seats or belted in, ESPECIALLY, if the Mazdawas her own vehicle and she wasn't just in it that one time. But throw her in jail? What, these kids need to wind up in our wonderful "fostering" system to grow up with hostilities that we'll all pay for later? I think a weekend in jail and given a few lessons in child safety laws while she's there would be sufficient. If she doesn't already have them, perhaps all of you " fine and understanding folks" could donate towards the purchase of new/used car seats, because being both "stupid and illegal", she probably can't afford them. Oh, and being Mexican, maybe hubby ORDERED her and the kids to get in that car! Diana, like you, I can remember the days when folks did a lot of things for fun and sport that today would have had our parents in shackles. My dad would tow a utility trailer, loaded with barrels of rubbish, to the dump, and on the way home, us kids would have a fun ride in those barrels as Dad fish-tailed down a washboard, dirt road, with us laughing and hollering for him to hit more bumps! Heck, even school bus drivers hit those bumps extra hard so us kids could bounce around in our seats! Innocent, fun times, but today, thank God we have laws to protect us?
Devious - 65 April 11, 2011 at 04:01 AM
Well said Joanie, you have a realistic view of the situation. I can remember packing into the back of a pickup and driving to Magic Mountain singing songs and having fun the entire way.
Bria April 12, 2011 at 01:44 AM
Instead of criticize this women we don't know the causes why she did this big mistake . can some body think of her kids there probably missing their mother ,Like Joanie comment maybe she can afford car seats , but is so easy to judge and we don't know the real causes of this accident , I can say the she is "stupid" because we all make mistakes we are not perfect, we don't know her needs. God Bless her and her kids
Anon April 12, 2011 at 01:46 AM
Maybe she cannot afford car seats.....hhhhhhmmmmm, if you have a baby, they wont let you leave the hospital without one, if you are an illegal, they probably give you one. DONT HAVE BABIES YOU CANNOT AFFORD!!!!!!!!!! Its so simple! The govt never had to feed my kids or give them anything, I did it all on my own. I wasnt rich and we didnt have much, but I sure never made the tax payers pay my way!
Donna April 12, 2011 at 02:11 AM
Excuse me? Criticize,judge,your right, we shouldn't do these things we all make mistakes but PLEASE anyone wit an ounce of common sense knows that little children must be in a car seat, then to HIDE them when they are injured is adding insult to injury!! IMHO she knew she had broke the law. This IS child endangerment on all LEVELS!!
Amanda April 12, 2011 at 03:23 AM
Jackie you are right on! You can't leave the hospital without a car seat! DPSS probably gives them out for free to families in need. There is NO excuse for putting those young kids in a truck that is being towed without car seats. In my mind she does not deserve to be a mother. Bria, sure everyone makes mistakes but this mistake is inexcusable. She knew better but she did not care enough to do anything about it. Sure her kids probably miss their mom but if she is that stupid for what she did in a towed car with those babies then she probably is not a decent parent. It's common sense not to do what she did. I don't care what her excuse is. Those babies are better off without that mother. We are not judging necessarily as Bria states, there just in NO excuse for what she did regardless of her reasons! This is a no brainer! She can get all kinds of free stuff if she needs it like clothing and food and CAR SEATS!!!
Joanie April 12, 2011 at 05:44 AM
Hmm, I think they missed the sarcasm, and I'm sitting here shaking my head at the lack of compassion, charity of heart and understanding that some folks have. If we were in the Puritan age, the mom would already have been burnt at the stake or at the very least, tarred and feathered. We make mistakes, we pay the price and we suffer for them. And hopefully, no one is ever hurt because of them. But we grow and become better people because of them. There are many things that we can and should change about ourselves, starting with what's inside. Scenario. A house with a weak and crumbling stone foundation, shaky and dangerous. Two groups of townsmen. Group 1 will pull and poke at those stones until the foundation eventually falls apart causing much distruction, it's occupants now homeless and cold. Group 2 supports and builds up the foundation until it's strong, safe and sound. A fit dwelling for generations to come. Both groups celebrate ... Group 1 cheered righteously, "good ridence, that house was just trash, never built right to start with!" Group 2 gave thanks that they were able to shore up the poorly constructed foundation before it gave way, and rejoiced that no one was ever injured. They humbly thanked God, not themselves, that they were able to help a family in need. I choose to celebrate with group one.
Diana April 12, 2011 at 05:34 PM
You just can't fix stupid!!!!!!!!!
Joanie April 12, 2011 at 10:25 PM
Oops, and speaking of stupid, boy did I goof ... meant to say, I celebrate with Group 2!!! Had a good laugh over myself with that goof up! Wish I could laugh over all the other "stupid" comments but their just plain sad.

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