No felony charges will be filed against the young mother who was driving a car that plunged into a retention pond in St. Louis Park last fall, killing two children, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.
Marion Noel Guerrido, 23, was driving with five children, all members of a blended family, in the predawn darkness about 7 a.m. on Nov. 21 when she lost control of the car on the ramp from Hwy. 7 to Hwy. 100 and it plunged into a retention pond.
She frantically tried to rescue the children, but it took emergency crews, summoned by area residents and fellow drivers who saw the accident, to pull them out of the 9-foot-deep pond during an agonizing ordeal later described in emotional terms by rescuers.
Two of the children, Alarious Coleman-Guerrido, 7, and Zenavia Rennie, 5, died.
There was good news Wednesday about the surviving three children — they have been released from hospitals and are expected to make full recoveries, said Rick Petry, the family’s attorney.
Freeman said that the accident reconstruction, as well as tests and interviews with Guerrido, found that she was not speeding, did not have drugs or alcohol in her system and had not been talking or texting on her cellphone. The accident, which he called “a horrible, horrible tragedy,” happened when she overcorrected, spun out and left the road, he said.
“There is nothing the criminal justice system can or should do about it,” Freeman said of his decision to not bring charges.
State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske said Wednesday he couldn’t comment.
Guerrido’s case is also being reviewed by the St. Louis Park city attorney for possible misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor charges, ranging from reckless driving to a violation of her driver’s permit, authorities said. She didn’t have a required licensed driver in the car at the time of the accident, authorities have said.
Petry said that while Guerrido is relieved that there won’t be felony charges, she’s still dealing with the sorrow of the two children’s deaths.
The surviving children are ages 1, 5 and 6.
Petry said the deaths put a strain on the relationship between Guerrido and boyfriend Julius Rennie, but they remain friendly.
The spiritual support of friends and strangers played a role in the children’s return to health, Petry said.
“I always believed in miracles,” he said. “But I’ve witnessed one now.”