TOWN AND COUNTRY • The fiery car crash Wednesday morning that seriously injured a Manchester woman and her two teenage sons, tying up traffic on I-270 for hours, happened after fireworks ignited inside the vehicle, authorities say.
Police arrested the mother, Kara Koriath, on suspicion of DWI involving drugs. Police allege she was impaired after taking prescription medication. Koriath was also arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault and child endangerment.
The Missouri Highway Patrol on Thursday provided new details of the crash. The patrol said someone in the vehicle apparently lit firecrackers and bottle rockets at about 6 a.m. Wednesday as the 2008 GMC Acadia was heading north on I-270 near Clayton Road.
Koriath, 43, of Manchester, lost control of the vehicle. It went off the right side of the road, hitting a guardrail and two road signs. The inside of the van burned up.
Koriath's two sons -- Andrew Dreste, 16, and Matthew Dreste, 13 -- were passengers. All three were taken to Mercy Hospital St. Louis in Creve Coeur with serious injuries. On Thursday morning, the hospital said Koriath was in satisfactory condition and the boys remained in serious condition.
They were all wearing seat belts in the crash, police say.
Highway Patrol Sgt. Al Nothum said investigators will try to interview them today to find out what happened in the vehicle, including who lit the fireworks.
"At this point, I don't know how they ignited," Nothum said. "We do know they were lit and a lot of them got lit and the whole inside of the vehicle was pretty well charred."
The outside of the van was heavily damaged in the crash. The patrol and officers with the Town and Country Police Department closed two lanes of northbound I-270 near Highway 40 for several hours while they investigated the crash.