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Mom Kills Child, Heads to Bar

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What was this woman thinking?


A 26-year-old who killed her 6-year-old son in a drunk-driving accident was given permission to leave the Erie County Prison in Pennsylvania for 24 hours for his funeral. But instead of reporting back to jail after the funeral, she went to a bar about a mile from the church where the funeral was held.

Erin Howard had been in prison, in lieu of $75,000 bail, on charges that she was driving drunk when she crashed into a creek bank, killing Samuel on June 14--her 26th birthday. She had been drinking and smoking pot just hours before she lost control of her car.

She has now been arrested in Ohio after her son's father allegedly tipped off authorities to her whereabouts, and is awaiting extradition to Erie. Howard has now been charged with escape in addition to involuntary manslaughter, drunken driving, child endangerment and other charges related to the crash.

As mothers, this story made our hearts hurt. Do you think this mother is clueless and careless, or is she battling a serious addiction?  Do you have a message for this mom?

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14 comments so far | Post a comment now
E June 24, 2008, 4:04 PM

I would tell her:

STOP being so selfish!!!!!!!! You are 26 and you killed your own child, due to your own selfishness.

A mom of 4 June 24, 2008, 4:06 PM

I would tell her to stop being so selfish and not even worrying about anyone else.

You are 26 and murdered your own son, you have no regard for life at all and are plain selfish. Face the authorities and plead guilty because you are.
This story sickens me.

frances June 24, 2008, 4:23 PM

She needs help. She is definitely in the wrong, but telling someone they are selfish without giving them the tools to get to normalcy is why we have the prison situation that we have.

Shell56 June 24, 2008, 4:32 PM

I feel horrible for her. of course she was wrong to drive drunk and is at fault for her son’s death. but i can’t imagine she’s anything but confused and heartbroken, and those are probably the feelings that made her go to a bar again. yes, she does deserve punishment, but i think she needs serious help vs. being plain selfish.

T June 24, 2008, 4:43 PM

She must have a severe addiction to alchohol. She is probably trying to numb the pain of having killed her child and the idea of spending the rest of her days in prison. Horrible. It is inexcusable, but somehow looking through the lense of understanding addiction, I can see how she landed at a bar.

I would tell her to get some help- for her addiction and to work through what she has done.

What punishment could be more severe than spending your life knowing you killed your child by being stupid and careless? Save the tax payers some money, take her license FOREVER, make her submit to random tests for alchohol and drugs forever, and allow her to fester in her own misery because of what she did.

Anonymous June 24, 2008, 5:13 PM

She looks so sad, confused, and lost in that photo.

mom June 24, 2008, 5:26 PM

“She looks so sad, confused, and lost in that photo.”

But is it for her son or for herself?

CGH June 24, 2008, 5:52 PM

I think that she has a terrible disease and needs serious treatment! It is a sad thing to see that with her carelessness of her drunken state ended in such a tragedy. I won’t feel sorry for her for the decision that judge will make. But the rest of her family needs to be there for her as God is there for her son.

Heidi June 24, 2008, 8:56 PM

What kind of mother are you? How could any mother worthy of being called mom get drunk knowing her 6 year old was going to be in the car with her? What the heck is wrong with you? I’d ask if you were stupid but I know the answer already. I hope you never see your other children again and you never should have been allowed to go to your 6 year old’s funeral.

Lynn  June 25, 2008, 12:52 AM

I don’t know why your son was not in a seat belt? If you wanted to drink & drive for god sake’s think first. I don’t fill sorry for you. You are getting what you desirve !I hope the next time you take a drink of water, you think of your sweet little boy, who you ended this young life by thinking of no other than you . Poor excuse of a mother, your a monster!!!!

Janny3266 June 25, 2008, 5:52 AM

Geesh…I felt terrible for consenting to having my daughters ears pierced for fear of infection or God knows what else…I can’t even imagine causing their death! However, I’m not sure life in prison or forever revoking her license is gonna help. Despite being currently jailed, she drank anyway who says she won’t drive anyway? I am definately in favor of mandatory sterilization and I think dooming her to life working in some profession which not only reminds her of her mistake EVERY DAY OF HER LIFE but helps to improve the lives of others on the same path is a far better and more productive punishment than housing (and paying for) her life in prison. Save the much needed prison space for true criminals…and I’m NOT suggesting this wasn’t a crime but, that’s all it is… a freakin crime!

meg24_83 June 25, 2008, 11:54 AM

What’s the difference between being “clueless” and “addicted”?
Aren’t they two of the same?
And why should we care about what she thinks or feels because she obviously doesn’t!

Deborah December 9, 2008, 4:19 PM

YEAH SHE NEEDS HELP”BUT SHE HAS TO WANT IT! DRIVING,AND DRINKING WITH YOUR BABY IN THE CAR IS FAR FROM THE RIGHT THING.AS FAR AS DRINKING AFTER THE FUNERAL A LOT OF PEOPLE DO THAT. AS MANY AFTER FUNERAL GATHER TOGETHER FOR FOOD AND DRINK,And some over drink due to the pain of losing some 1 they love and miss. i am sure she is feeling really bad about the fact it was her fault not to mention the loss of her kid being her fault. a real hard lesson to learn,and such a sad ending for her kids life.

nance June 8, 2009, 7:44 PM

i feel so bad for you, did you think you were okay driving or was this a regular thing you did? your son must of adored you and is not mad at you, you need to understand that alcohol impairs your thinking,and im sure if you can go back in time and change what you did you would,i will pray for you and your son, change,pray,and teach others from your mistake..

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