Syracuse woman charged after crash that injured five people

Police officers investigate serious car crash at the intersection N. Salina St. and E. Willow St.

Syracuse Police arrested a Syracuse woman after a car crash Wednesday evening at the intersection of N. Salina St. at East Willow St. that sent her and four other people to the hospital.

Just before the crash happened, police were called to the intersection of West Fayette St. at S. Salina St. after a report there was a woman passed out behind the steering wheel of a Mercedes-Benz.

When an officer arrived on scene, he or she found 37-year-old Jennifer Defio passed out behind the steering wheel with the car still running and in gear.

The officer knocked on the window of the car and woke Defio up. She was told to open or unlock her door, but she sped away through the intersection and drove north on S. Salina Street.

Police weren't pursuing Defio, but she continued to speed away and crashed into a pickup truck with three occupants, and then into a woman crossing the street.

The 54-year-old pedestrian sustained a leg and head injury. The three people in the truck, which included a 16-year-old male driver, a 20-year-old male passenger and a 33-year-old female passenger, were all injured. Everyone was taken to Upstate University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Defio was also taken to the hospital. She is now charged with second degree felony vehicular assault and misdemeanor driving while ability impaired by drugs, and reckless driving. She was also ticketed for imprudent speed, passing a red light and failure to keep right.

Defio was released from the hospital and sent to jail on the charges. She is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, June 12th in Syracuse City Court.

The crash is still under investigation.