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Boy, 10, calls police to report his father’s drunk driving moments before crash

By Mason White 5:28 AM August 4, 2013
Owen B. Gilman 

By: Debbie Gross
A man was arrested and charged with assault related charges after he crashed a car while driving drunk according to police reports in Connecticut.

Rhode Island Police said that a 10-year-old boy, who was riding in the backseat of his father’s Mercedes-Benz, made frantic calls to police on Wednesday night, saying he feared he would die because his father was drunk and speeding on the I-95.

The boy was so scared, he told police, he was thinking of jumping out from the moving car, thinking his chances to survive will be better than staying inside the car waiting for a high-speed crash.

Moments later, the Mercedes slammed into a Jeep Grand Cherokee, sending the child and his 12-year-old sister to the hospital, police said. Owen B. Gilman, 49, of Warwick, Rhode Island, the Mercedes driver and the child’s father, was not injured.

Rhode Island State Police took the initial call of the boy, and tried to transfer the call to the Connecticut State Police as the car approached the state line. Troopers lost the boy’s call, however, police in Connecticut soon received several calls reporting an accident on I-95 in Stonington.

The Mercedes-Benz, drove the jeep and its driver off the road and down an embankment, where it rolled over. The Jeep driver, whom police did not identify, was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London for treatment of blunt-force trauma and cuts.

The two children in the Mercedes were taken to Westerly Hospital for treatment after suffering cuts.
Gilman, of 88 Cooper Road in Warwick, was arrested after failing field sobriety tests, police said. Police said they found “a significant amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia” in the car.

He was charged with two counts of second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, drunk driving, reckless driving, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and other charges.

He was initially held on $35,000 bail, but at his appearance on Thursday in New London Superior Court, his bail was increased to $250,000.