Chapter 36. The Accident

“Maybe she went for a walk. She couldn’t have taken the car,” Andy said unconcernedly. “I have the key right here.” He pointed to the keys on his desk.

 “Remember, we put it on my key ring before she came home from the hospital a few weeks ago.” 

“But the extra key that I keep in my purse is missing!” Audrey replied.

“Mom must have taken it out of my purse when I left my purse in the kitchen last night.  I just noticed that it was missing while was in church tonight with the O’Connells.”

“Let’s call her,” Andy suggested. 

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. She’s been drinking and If she’s driving, she will try to find her phone, and could lose control of the car.  Come downstairs and we’ll try to figure this out over a cup of cocoa.  We still have some of the shamrock cookies left that Mrs. O’Connell gave us on Sunday.”

They were almost finished with their cocoa and cookies when they heard a helicopter.

“So glad to see that the cops are on top of the neighborhood burglars,” Andy remarked ruefully.  

Two minutes later, the doorbell rang. 

Audrey looked at her phone and tapped the doorbell video app.  “It’s two policemen,” she said with foreboding.

“Are you sure?” Andy asked.  

“Yep,” Audrey replied, getting up.  “I can see the black and white police car parked on the street with ‘To protect and serve’ on the side.”

The doorbell rang again.  They both went to the door and opened the door to the officers. Audrey noticed that one of the officers was Rodriguez, who had been at their house the night the paramedics had come to revive Abbey.

“Audrey and Andrew Martin, right?” Officer Rodriguez asked.

The twins nodded. 

“Do you mind if we come in? We have a few things to discuss with you.”

“Okay . . .” 

“Your mom was involved in an accident this evening. . . “

“Is she okay?” Audrey asked, breathlessly.

“She seems to be uninjured. She was wearing her seatbelt, and she had no apparent injuries. She’s being transported to the hospital to be checked out and tested.”

“But that’s not the reason we’re here.”

“Why are you here?” Andy demanded.

“Your mother apparently lost control of her vehicle and jumped the curb in the Cove.  She struck a woman who was out walking her dog.” 

“Oh no!” the twins exclaimed in unison. 

“Is the lady alright?”

“Actually, she’s not. She was very seriously injured and is being airlifted to the trauma unit at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Hospital.”

His partner frowned and knitted his brows.  “Your mom appears to have been driving under the influence of alcohol when the accident occurred. She is being tested at the hospital.”

“Is her lawyer present?” Andy asked argumentatively. 

“She waived her right to counsel, son,” Officer Rodriguez said, kindly.

He continued, “Listen, you kids will need to stay with someone tonight.  Your mom will probably be arrested tonight and brought before a judge in a day or two for a bail hearing.  If she doesn’t call her own attorney, a public defender will be appointed to represent her.”

“Arrested!” Audrey exclaimed in disbelief.

The officers nodded sympathetically.

Officer Rodriguez scrolled through some documents on his phone. “You stayed with the O’Connell family a few weeks ago during the 72-hour hold, right?” 

Audrey and Andy nodded.

“It would be easier on you if you could stay with them for a day or two until your mother is released.  Their names are in the system, and they have already been vetted.  Would you like to stay with them, or is there another friend or relative you can call?”

“I’ll call the O’Connells.  I’m sure it will be okay with them,” Audrey replied.”

She took her phone into the kitchen to make the call.

“Mrs. O’Connell?  I hate to bother you again,” she started. . .


Not knowing what to do to help their mother, Audrey had asked the O’Connells for help.  Brian offered to call a DUI attorney he knew, but he advised them that 

Abbey probably would not be released without bail.  The twins gave Brian their mother’s accountant’s name and phone number.  They were well acquainted with him because they often contacted him for household expenses.  

Brian called his attorney friend, Louis Levin, who explained to him that Abbey would most likely be charged with felony DUI the next day and would be given a date to appear in court.  Because it is a felony to cause serious injury while driving under the influence, she would not be released on her own recognizance. She would be held pending her bail hearing, which, hopefully, would be in a day or two. He agreed to meet with Abbey the next day at the West Los Angeles jail.