A grandmother in Memphis, Tennessee is facing charges related to child endangerment and drunk driving after taking her grandson for a driving lesson. Ernestine Hollomon, 58, had been drinking the night of Tuesday, August 4, when she decided to teach 13-year-old Joseph how to drive. That fateful decision has now led to five people injured and a family reeling.
Joseph Hollomon told WREG news that his grandmother wouldn’t take no for an answer when she told him to get into the car with her around 11 pm that night.
“I didn’t want to, but I ain’t had no choice, so she told me to sit in her lap, and I did,” he said.
Local resident Tadarius Allmond told the outlet he managed to dodge the speeding car just in time, before witnessing it hit five other pedestrians.
“She just ran them folks totally over,” Allmond said. “Didn’t stop, didn’t try to stop.”
According to Joseph Hollomon, he struggled to stop the car as he sat in his grandmother’s lap, but to no avail.
“I ain’t know what to do,” he said. “I pushed the brake, but she pushed the gas pedal and went straight ahead and started crashing into those folks.”
The young boy said he was able to pull himself from the car after it crashed, when he saw the people who’d been hit.
“I looked to see if someone was hurt,” said Joseph. “I seen like three or four, five people on the ground.
A police affidavit said that two of the pedestrians were sent to the hospital in critical condition, while the remaining three were non-critical. Meanwhile, friends and relatives of the victims told WREG that many of them had suffered broken bones and head injuries.
Following the crash, Ernestine Hollomon admitted to being drunk and failed a field sobriety test. Local 24 reports that she also suffered a medical emergency related to diabetes. The Memphis Fire Department took her to a nearby hospital in non-critical condition, where she refused treatment. Police then charged Hollomon with DUI/child endangerment, driving on a suspended/canceled license, financial responsibility, public intoxication, and failure to exercise due care.
Ernestine Hollomon 58, was charged with Driving While License Sus/Rev/Can, DUI/Child Endangerment-child under 18, and Financial Responsibility Law. pic.twitter.com/9kp8BmzNjf— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) August 5, 2020
Meanwhile, Joseph, also non-critical, was taken to a separate children’s hospital before reuniting with his mother, Jennifer Hollomon. Jennifer had harsh words for her mother following the incident.
“I hope she’s learning her lesson the whole time she’s in jail,” she told WREG. “I hope she thinks twice next time.”
Meanwhile, Joseph says the experience has taken away his enthusiasm for driving.
“I ain’t want to drive no more,” he told the outlet.