Lehigh Valley

Police: DUI suspect ran from wreck with baby

The collision occurred near the Palmer Park Mall

PALMER TWP., Pa. - Police in Northampton County said an Allentown woman involved in a DUI hit-and-run was spotted running from the wreck with a baby.

Linh Kien, of North Jordan Street in Allentown, is facing child endangerment and drunk driving charges in connection to a September crash near the Palmer Park Mall in Palmer Township. District Judge Alicia Zito arraigned the 36-year-old Sunday night. She was released on $15,000 unsecured bail.

Palmer Township police were dispatched to the 2300 block of Park Avenue shortly before 2 a.m. on Sept. 18 for a report of a hit-and-run crash. The driver and passenger had reportedly ditched the vehicle and ran toward the mall, according to court records.

Police arrived to find that a silver Toyota Rav4 collided with the driver’s side of a Dodge pickup. The damage left the Rav4 inoperable, and police said the vehicle was abandoned halfway in the street.

A witness told police he saw a man and woman arguing as they ran toward the mall, carrying a baby. Officers caught up with Kien, her passenger and Kien’s 8-month-old baby, who had been in the backseat.

Court records do not indicate the nature of the relationship between Kien and her passenger, and police make no reference in the criminal complaint that the child was injured.

Police said they could smell alcohol on Kien’s breath. She allegedly admitted that she had been drinking at a party and was behind the wheel of the Rav4 when it collided with the pickup.

She was taken into custody shortly before 3 a.m. and transported to the Northampton County DUI Center for testing. Blood tests showed a blood alcohol level of 0.09 percent. Most drunk driving penalties begin at 0.08 percent.

Police charged Kien with two counts of DUI, single counts of child endangerment and reckless endangerment and a pair of summary traffic violations. Her next court date is a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 12.

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