Mother arrested in DUI crash that killed 2 of her children

8 children were in the car at the time of the crash

YULEE, Fla. – A mother who was driving in an October crash that killed two of her children was arrested Saturday on two counts of DUI causing a death.

Tonya Capallia-Eason was booked into the Nassau County jail Saturday morning and held on $500,000 bond. According to the arrest report, her blood alcohol was tested at 0.148, well about the legal limit of 0.8.

Nicholai Capallia, 9, and Nehemiah Capallia-Bird, 8, died Oct. 22 when a Ford Explorer struck a utility pole on a Lonnie Crews Road,

The father of the children, who lives in Michigan, told News4Jax he is still trying to process the deaths of his children and the arrest.

"The relief part we had been waiting on it for a long time and it seems almost like my hope is that everyone involved makes the right decisions," Andrew Bird said.

Troopers said Capallia-Eason was driving north on Lonnie Crews Road just south of Lina Road when she failed to negotiate the right-hand curve, crossed the southbound lane, left the road and struck a utility pole. The SUV continued north and overturned on Lina Road.

James Nelson, a 15-year-old who survived the crash, said they had been driving home from a Halloween party.

The initial crash report said Capallia-Eason had alcohol in her system at the time of the crash. Troopers noted that Capallia-Eason was wearing a seat belt, but it wasn't known if any of the children were wearing seat belts or child restraints.

Capallia-Eason has had two speeding tickets over the last 20 years and another ticket for driving without a valid license, but she currently has a valid driver's license.


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