A 3-year-old Santa Barbara boy who suffered a broken neck in a suspected DUI crash was transported to a Los Angeles area hospital just hours after the crash. A Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital official told NewsChannel 3 the child required specialized medical care. NewsChannel 3 has also learned that Thursday, May 23 was the boy’s third birthday.
The child’s mother, Kate Hatrey Walters, 24, faces multiple felony charges in connection to the crash. Santa Barbara police said Walters slammed the car she was driving into a street sign and light pole near State Street and Toyon Drive about 7 p.m. Monday.
Police said Walters and a friend started heavily drinking early in the day then went to dinner at Harry’s Plaza Cafe. Walters took her son to the restaurant where she allegedly continued to drink alcohol. Restaurant workers told police Walters and her friend became unruly and restaurant staff eventually told them to leave. Workers at Harry’s Cafe called a taxi to pick up the two women and the child. As they waited for the cab to arrive, police said Walters and her friend continued to cause a disturbance outside prompting restaurant staff to call police. However, before officers arrived on scene, Walters and her friend put the child in a car and they allegedly drove away. Witnesses reported that Walters car almost hit two parked cars in the Loreto Plaza parking lot.
Police said Walter drove about two blocks before hitting the street sign and light pole. Police arrived on scene to find the injured 3-year-old boy being cradled in the arms of a citizen.
All three people in the car were taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Police said Walters refused to submit to a test to determine her blood alcohol content. Officers obtained a search warrant authorizing police to take a sample of Walters blood.
The child suffered numerous injuries including a broken neck. Walters was treated for minor injuries and her friend is being evaluated.
Walters is charged with felony DUI and felony child endangerment with bail – set at $100,000