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Mother, children hit by car in Lowell

By Emma Stickgold
Globe Correspondent / November 23, 2009

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A 60-year-old Lowell man was arrested early yesterday evening and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol after his vehicle struck a mother and her two children in a crosswalk, police said.

Police said that if he is convicted, it would be a second drunken-driving offense for Chamroeun Theam, who was not hurt in the accident just after 5:30 p.m. yesterday.

Two police officers had stopped at a red light when they saw Theam plow into a carriage pushed by the children’s mother across Fletcher Street, authorities said.

A 2-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy were in the carriage, and the boy was thrown from it. All three were taken to Lowell General Hospital. Various media reported that the older child was critically injured.

Police last night would not release their condition, but told the Lowell Sun that the mother, 25, and the girl were OK, but the boy had suffered head injuries.

The accident marked the second time in less than a week that a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle in the city.

On Wednesday, a 12-year-old boy was struck by a teen from Methuen who was rushing to make a hair salon appointment, police said. Michelle P. Medeiros, 17, raced through a busy VFW Highway intersection, police said, and hit Kelvin Savanhmixay, a sixth-grader who witnesses said was thrown 20 feet by the impact.

Savanhmixay is recovering at Children’s Hospital Boston and is expected to need several more surgeries.

Police said Medeiros sped off without stopping, and police initially thought she had been racing another vehicle. Police located her after she took her car to a repair shop.

Authorities said she kept her hair appointment.

Following yesterday’s accident, witnesses told the Lowell Sun and several local television stations that Theam seemed incoherent and barely able to walk after the accident.

Besides the charge of operating under the influence of alcohol, Theam was also charged with operating to endanger, operating defective equipment, and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Police said he would probably appear in district court this morning.