A 52-year-old St. Charles man faces criminal charges after police say he caused a March car accident that killed an unborn child and injured three people.

Officials accuse the man of driving while impaired.

Authorities said the man was driving a black Hyundai sedan around noon on March 16, when his vehicle veered across the center line and smashed head-on into a red Toyota car before hitting an SUV.

A man, woman and three-year-old child in the Toyota were severely injured and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of their injuries.

The woman, who was 19 weeks pregnant, later delivered a stillborn infant at the hospital.

Police have charged the 52-year-old with first-degree involuntary manslaughter, along with three counts of second-degree assault (operating a vehicle while intoxicated resulting in physical injury). He faces up to 36 years in state prison if convicted of all charges, according to a news report.

There were no injuries reported from the SUV the man struck.

St. Charles police say that after the head-on collision, the man appeared to be impaired. A blood test indicated that he had ingested benzodiazepines prior to the crash.

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed drugs typically used as sedatives, muscle relaxants and to inhibit anxiety.

Research indicates that the most commonly used illicit drug in the nation is marijuana, followed by non-medical use of prescription drugs. Nearly a third of those abused prescription drugs are tranquilizers and sedatives.

Anyone injured by an impaired driver should speak with an attorney about compensation for medical bills, future medical needs, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Source: KMOV, “Man charged after unborn child killed, 3 others injured in St. Charles wreck,” April 23, 2013

Please see our St. Charles County car accidents page for information about our St. Peters personal injury law firm.