Woman charged with DUI after striking three vehicles
A Cape Coral woman was charged with DUI, along with hit and run, after she allegedly crashed into three vehicles and fled without leaving her information.
Salima Khan Gonin, 75, of 16 S.E. 15th Ave., was arrested Monday and charged with three counts of hit and run, leave scene of crash involving property damage, three counts of DUI with property damage and one DUI count. She has been released from the Lee County Jail on $5,250 bond.
According to a sheriff’s office report, deputies responded to a four-vehicle hit and run crash at about 3:30 p.m. in the 4100 block of Hancock Bridge Parkway North in Fort Myers. Witnesses told authorities that a driver, later identified as Gonin, drove into a vehicle in the parking lot of the Dollar Store.
After striking the car, Gonin reportedly left the scene without leaving any information and entered the parking lot of the CVS pharmacy. While in that lot, she drove into a pick up truck and then struck a third vehicle, according to the report. Gonin’s vehicle was stopped after she drove into the third vehicle.
During a telephone interview Tuesday, Gonin said she hit the vehicles.
“I was coming around the curve and I scrapped against the car,” she said. “I tried to avoid it, but the other car was sticking out.”
Gonin explained that she was “very scared and nervous.”
“That has never happened to me before, that was the first time,” she said.
According to the report, deputies could “smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from” Gonin’s mouth area and she had slurred speech and “bloodshot watery eyes.” Gonin initially told deputies that she had not been drinking and refused to submit to the field sobriety tests. She later asked whether she had to do the tests and stated that she had been drinking.
Gonin said Tuesday that she had had two drinks prior to the crashes.
“I did have some wine in the car with me, just a little tiny bottle,” she said.
“Everything happened so quick that we did not even find out whose car we scratched,” Gonin said, adding that her husband arrived on scene during the incident. “We were both very nervous and very scared.”
Deputies arrested Gonin and transported her to the county jail. Once there, she was asked to take a breathalyzer test. According to the report, after “several attempts” to get a valid breath sample from Gonin during the course of about 20 minutes, Gonin would not give deputies a valid sample.
“They claimed that I refused a breathalyzer, but that is not true,” she said.
According to Gonin, the deputy told her to blow and then accused her of not blowing hard enough.
“I kept telling him that’s all the air I have in my lungs,” she said.
Gonin has a court date set for Aug. 30, according to jail booking records.