A mother who detailed her battle with alcoholism on TikTok killed her son after drinking cough syrup, then using her phone while driving, police say. Misty Mattinas crashed her Chevy Imapla into a tree at such high speed it split in half, killing three year-old son Dennis in Cloquet, Minnesota, on Sunday afternoon.
Detectives say Mattinas, 26, had been downing cough syrup, Twisted Tea alcoholic iced tea and Fireball whiskey shots before the smash. An arrest report written afterwards said: ‘Law enforcement could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle.
‘They located multiple empty bottles of alcohol in and around the vehicle. (Mattinas) admitted to using her phone while driving before her car crashed. She regularly drinks while driving and then places the empty bottles under her seat.’
Mattinas shared details of her battle with booze on her Facebook and TikTok pages. On November 2, she shared a video of herself shimmying with the caption: ‘Still soberr. Remaining sober for myself and my family. I am truly blessed. I’m Misty and I’m an alcoholic.’
And on November 5 – four days before the fatal crash – she posted about her condition on Facebook, writing: ‘Any AA Meetings in the brainerd area? If so let’s goooo hmu!’ Mattinas’s final Facebook update before the crash also alluded to her struggles, and said: ‘We are the United States of Anxiety.’
Her five year-old daughter was injured in the crash, and was treated in hospital for cuts and bruises to her face.
Paying tribute to Dennis on Facebook, Misty’s sister Salina wrote: ‘(Dennis’s sister) is stable and will be okay. My mom got her to smile last night. She’s just sad for her Denny as you could imagine.
‘There are just no words left to say. And as our tears drop we try to keep our sister Misty in our thoughts and prayers.. my love is endless.’
Mattinas mom allegedly told police that she drank the cough syrup at her mother’s house, then opened the whiskey and hard iced tea while driving to another relative’s house, the Star Tribune reported.
She reportedly said she was not allowed to drink at her mom’s place, and is said to have been driving on a revoked licence at the time of the crash.
Mattinas said she had been distracted by her phone’s GPS just before crashing, with a witness to the crash claiming she was driving well above the speed limit.
She has been charged with vehicular homicide, and faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted.
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