Emily Hernandez, filmed a year ago scrolling fragments of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nameplate across the United States Capitol, was arrested Wednesday evening in Franklin County on suspicion of ‘killing a woman drunk in a car accident.
Hernandez, 22 from Sullivan, was on the wrong track at about 7 p.m. on Interstate 44 near St. Clair, driving a Volkswagen Passat west in the eastbound lanes when it collided with a Buick Enclave, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Buick passenger Victoria Wilson, 32, of St. Clair, was killed. Her husband, Ryan Wilson, 36, was injured and taken to Missouri Baptist Medical Center.
Victoria Wilson was a mother of two, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help the family pay for her funeral. The message said her husband would need surgery.
Hernandez, who was also injured, was rushed to Mercy Hospital. Highway patrol arrested her for drunk driving causing death and drunk driving causing serious bodily harm.
St. Louis Post-Expedition first reported Hernandez’s connection to the Capitol Riots. His lawyer in the case, Ethan Corlija, told the newspaper that he visited him on Wednesday evening in the hospital and that the accident was a “tragic event”.
“My heart goes out to the other motorist who lost his life and his family,” Corlija told The Daily.
Hernandez is expected to plead guilty in the Capitol case on January 10. She was charged in January 2021 with five misdemeanors and allowed to remain free as her case progressed, a common arrangement in the Capitol cases with low-level charges.
She was part of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the building on Jan.6, 2021, as rioters sought to overturn the presidential election results. Members of Congress were forced into hiding for hours as intruders threatened to kill lawmakers, including Vice President Mike Pence and Pelosi. Footage from the scene showed her happily carrying Pelosi’s broken nameplate across the Capitol after members of the crowd ransacked Congress offices.
Five people died in connection with the attack and more than 700 people were charged in the year that followed. Hernandez reportedly attended the rally with her uncle, William Merry, and friend, Paul Westover. The three were filmed together alongside rioters. Merry and Westover have previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.
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