ST. LOUIS – Emily Hernandez, the Franklin County woman who has a plea hearing scheduled for next week for participating in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S Capitol, was arrested Wednesday in connection with a fatal accident on Interstate 44, her attorney confirmed.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Hernandez, 22, was behind the wheel driving the wrong way on eastbound I-44 in a Volkswagon Passat when it struck the front of a Buick Enclave. The Enclave was pushed into the median and struck the cable barriers.
A passenger in the Enclave, 32 year-old Victoria Wilson of St. Clair, Missouri, was pronounced dead at the scene. Hernandez and the driver of the second vehicle were both transported to hospitals with serious injuries.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Wilson was the mother of two boys.
Hernandez was arrested for driving while intoxicated resulting in death. She has not been formally charged in court.
Ethan Corlija, Hernandez’s attorney, said the actions were “out of character.” Hernandez was out on Personal Recognizance Bond for the federal case.
She faces a plea hearing next week on a charge of entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U. S. Capitol. She was seen in images captured that day holding onto a piece of a nameplate from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of Columbia declined comment beyond court filings when asked if her arrest in Missouri could impact the rest of her federal case.
Her uncle, William Merry, who was also seen holding part of the nameplate, pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft of government property.