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Mom gets 21 months for crash that injured kids

A California woman was ordered to serve her prison sentence immediately after admitting to drunken driving and assault charges stemming from an Ashland rollover crash that seriously injured her children in the car.

Michelle Roux-Mantoan, 35, of Palm Springs, Calif., was sentenced Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court to nearly two years in prison after she admitted to felony charges stemming from an Aug. 15, 2015 crash on Interstate 5 that may affect her 5-year-old daughter's ability to walk and her 10-year-old son. 

Deputy District Attorney Alyssa Claseman provided photographs of the crash wreckage and the children to Circuit Court Judge David Hoppe, which he described as "horrifying."

Roux-Mantoan's 5-year-old daughter was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, and was ejected from the vehicle. The child suffered injuries that included a broken femur that have affected her ability to walk. Her 10-year-old son suffered lacerations and broken fingers in the crash, according to Claseman. Her infant daughter was properly secured in a safety seat and suffered no injuries.

The 5-year-old also had alcohol in her system at the time of the crash, Claseman said.

Witnesses traveling north on Interstate 5 said Roux-Mantoan had been seen swerving and driving erratically since Yreka, Calif. Roux-Mantoan lost control as she reached to switch the DVD for her children while traveling north near Milepost 16. The vehicle rolled several times, crossed the center median and landed on the interstate's southbound fast lane, archives show.

Roux-Mantoan had a blood alcohol reading of .17, from blood drawn an hour after the crash, Claseman said. Hydrocodone and oxycodone were also found in Roux-Mantoan's system.

Citing Roux-Mantoan's failure to complete requirements from a 2005 DUII conviction that resulted in injury, Hoppe ordered Roux-Mantoan taken into custody immediately, and had courthouse security escort her out of the courtroom. She was ordered to pay a $500 fine and restitution to be determined.

"It's going to be high," Hoppe said.

Court-appointed defense attorney Paul Moser said that Roux-Mantoan began drug and alcohol treatment in California immediately after the crash, and has been living in a sober living facility for the past several months. Moser requested six weeks for Roux-Mantoan to handle her possessions in Oregon and California, and to complete her treatment program in California.

Roux-Mantoan was sentenced to 21 months in prison and three years' of post-prison supervision after pleading guilty to two felony counts of third-degree assault and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of intoxicants and furnishing alcohol to a minor. After sentencing, Roux-Mantoan expressed remorse for the crash.

"I have definitely been paying for it since Day One of the accident," Roux-Mantoan said. "I punch myself every day for it."

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

Michele Roux-Mantoan