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A U.S. Marine Corps combat instructor is facing criminal charges after allegedly striking and injuring two teenagers with her car.
The Quantico instructor has been “relieved of her duties,” a Marine Corps spokesperson said.
Sgt. Maj. Beth Allen Abbott, 39, was arrested on Thursday, May 31, after allegedly hitting the teens while driving in Aquia Harbour, Virginia. Authorities say she admitted to having consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Both teens were airlifted to a nearby hospital and treated for serious injuries, according to local law enforcement officials. They are expected to make a full recovery.
Abbott was initially charged with driving under the influence, according to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. Following a crash reconstruction, law enforcement added additional counts.
“During a search of the driver’s vehicle, a suspected controlled substance was located,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post Saturday. “As a result, the driver was charged with two counts of maiming while driving while intoxicated, and possession of a controlled substance. She was held at Rappahannock Regional Jail on a $6,000 secured bond.”
Aquia Harbor is located around 7 miles south of Marine Corps Base Quantico.
“We are aware of the charges against 1st Sgt. Abbott, who was relieved of her duties Friday,” Maj. Danielle Phillips, a Training Command spokesperson, told Law&Crime in an email. “We are coordinating with local authorities for their ongoing investigation during this difficult time.”
Abbott, who until this incident held the title of Sergeant Major and served as a Combat Instructor Battalion at the Basic School located on the Marine Corps base at Quantico, earned a Purple Heart and several other commendations, according to records provided to Law&Crime by the Marine Corps.
The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office said in their Thursday press release that on May 31, a driver “did remain on scene” after allegedly striking two pedestrians, both 14 years old, with her vehicle in Aquia Harbour.
“The 39-year-old driver had glassy, bloodshot eyes, the odor of an alcoholic beverage on her breath, and admitted to consuming alcohol prior to driving,” the press release said, adding that she was charged with driving under the influence and booked into the Rappahannock Regional Jail.
The teens were “airlifted to a nearby hospital to be treated for serious injuries,” the press release said. Both of them are expected to make a full recovery.
According to the Military Times, Abbott’s official military biography has been taken down from the website.
Court records indicate that Abbott is currently in custody and has a hearing scheduled for July 18. The Rappahannock Regional Jail is located some 10 miles south of Quantico.
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