Woman towed kids behind car in little red wagon, Springfield Police say

Damaris Carlson said he witnessed Alana Donahue pulling her kids in a red wagon behind her car. (Photo courtesy Damaris Carlson / mug shot courtesy Lane County Jail)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Witnesses saw a woman driving through a busy intersection towing young children behind her in a wagon tied to the back of her car Wednesday evening.

"Our officer was, I think, a little flabbergasted," said Lt. Scott McKee with the Springfield Police Department.

McKee says the driver, 27-year-old Alana Donohue, started on Filbert Street around 7:40 p.m.

They say she then did several laps around the roundabout at 42nd Street and Jasper.

Donohue was towing two of her children, ages two and four. At one point, the children's cousin, an 8-year-old boy, was also in the wagon without his mother's consent.

Police say Donohue was driving slowly, around 5 mph, but one witness reported seeing the car reaching 30 mph.

"One witness told us that the wagon went up on two wheels," McKee said. "And that's when the littlest one started to cry."

Police say Donohue made several laps through the roundabout, causing a traffic jam.

"People didn't want to pass," McKee said. "And people were calling out to her and pleading with her to pull over."

Donohue eventually pulled over into a nearby market. A witness pulled in after her and called police. McKee says Donohue did not think she did anything wrong.

"She was just indignant about the situation and didn't see what the big deal was," McKee said. "She told our officer, 'I'm just trying to show my kids a good time.'"

A witness photo of the incident is getting a lot of attention on social media and around town.

"I just don't understand how anyone can be that stupid," said Springfield resident Kathy Dahl. "It's just, really...I mean...absolutely ridiculous."

"I'm just speechless really," said Springfield resident Leslie Dietz. "What drives a person to do something like that?"

Police say Donohue was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"This was indeed just bad judgement," McKee said.

Police say none of the children were injured.

The Department of Human Services was contacted. The children were released to a family member.

Donohue was arrested at the scene and arraigned on Friday. She faces three counts of reckless endangering. McKee says Donohue will likely be back in court next week.

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