Police: DUI crash with kids in the car

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – A car crash near Virginia Center Commons in Henrico sent three kids to the hospital.  The driver was their family member.  33-year-old Rashawn Butts is behind bars, facing DUI and child abuse charges.

His wife Monica and the kids who were in the car are defending him.  Butts' son and two nephews said he only had one beer at dinner.  They'll be at the courthouse when he faces a judge Tuesday morning.

Saturday night, Monica Butts got the call no one wants to receive.

"The next phone call I got from him was they had been in an accident," she recalled.

Her husband Rashawn was with their son and two nephews.  We're told they had grabbed barbecue for dinner, at which the kids, ages 11, 14 and 15, said butts only had one beer.

Henrico Police told NBC12 Butts was driving on J.E.B. Stuart Parkway near the mall. They said he veered into oncoming traffic and collided with another vehicle.

Monica was told the Dodge Caravan her husband was driving was totaled.  The kids were sent to the hospital.  One had bruised ribs.

"They can't believe that they survived," she said.

To Monica's surprise, Rashawn was taken to jail after police said he was driving under the influence.

"He's a great father," Monica explained.  "He's a good family guy. He's got a great job and he just made the wrong decision."

But she's wondering if something else was going on.

"For the past couple days he has been complaining about his blood pressure or his headache," she recalled.  "He said he's been having a headache and blurred vision and he actually had a doctor's appointment at four o'clock today to have that checked out."

Instead, he's behind bars.  MADD Virginia manager Chris Konschak said the child endangerment charges are supposed to be a deterrent.

"We wanted to make sure that there were more ramifications for driving with a child in the car and that people couldn't just say 'oh it was just drunk driving,'" he explained.

Now, Rashawn's family waits.

"Maybe this is a wake up call of some kind," Monica hoped.

Butts will appear before a judge Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. on three counts of child abuse and one count of DUI.

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