Car Crash Survivor Takes Keys From Drunk Driver

Megan Charles - Author

Aug. 14 2013, Updated 2:51 a.m. ET

Following a fatal car crash that killed her friend and seriously injured two others, an Iowa teenager who thankfully survived, emerged from the wreckage and snatched the car keys of the other driver before he could drunkenly flee the scene.

Jessilyn Eisman, 16, was riding along with three other friends, including 17-year-old Chrishaun Moten (also spelled Chrisshaun in some reports), early Friday morning when a Chevy Astro Van driving the wrong way – east in the westbound lane of traffic along the 200 block of the Veterans Memorial Highway – struck their vehicle on the driver’s side, a westbound Chevy Cavalier.

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Eisman, who had not been driving, suffered minor injuries. She crawled from the damaged car and told the other driver, 31-year-old Hilberto Velasques-Ramirez, to call 911. Oddly, he refused.

When Eisman realized the man was attempting to leave the scene of the accident, she reached in and took his car keys. “I wasn’t just going to let someone leave that just killed my friend,” Eisman stated, according to the Huffington Post.

The collision did result in a fatality. Moten, who had been riding in the backseat, was killed in the accident. Two other teens suffered injuries, requiring hospitalization. Brenden Kniesly, 18, the driver of the car, was last reported in stable condition at a Council Bluffs hospital Saturday. Philip Moffatt, 17, was seriously injured, but has been showing improvement.

Velasquez-Ramirez – whose immigration status is under investigation, according to the NY Daily News – was taken into custody on suspicion of homicide by vehicle, two counts of serious injury by vehicle, and driving with a blood alcohol level of.178 – more than twice the legal limit.

He was also cited for failure to hold a driver’s license and having no proof of insurance. Velasquez-Ramirez is being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail on $65,000 bond.

According to several reports, including one made in the Des Moines Register, the man claimed he was not responsible for the crash – blaming Kniesly even though he’d been in the wrong lane – but admitted to imbibing at least six beers beforehand.

A vigil was held Saturday evening for Moten, who had been a student at the Lewis Central High School in Council Bluffs.

[Image via Shutterstock]


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