‘We were drunk driving’: Affidavit says Wichita mother admitted to drinking before crash that killed her child


Nory Lam (Photo Courtesy Sedgwick County Jail)

WICHITA (KSNW) — Court documents just released are giving new insight into why investigators say a Wichita woman is responsible for her 5-year-old daughter’s death.

The crash happened on March 7. Around 3 a.m., an SUV crashed off the road near 47th Street South and 127th Street East, southeast of Wichita, and landed in a field.

When the first deputy arrived, he found Nory Lam holding her daughter Aleah Reyes in her lap in the SUV’s backseat.

Lam handed her daughter to the deputy, who began checking the child for injuries. When EMS and the fire department arrived, the deputy took Lam to his patrol car.

A probable cause affidavit says the deputy heard Lam say, “We were drunk driving.” He also says she commented that it was all her fault.

The deputy says Lam had a cut to her forehead, and he asked if she needed EMS to check her. He says she refused but was later checked anyway.

The deputy says he continued to ask her about the cause of the wreck. According to the deputy, Lam said she left a birthday party in Derby and was driving west on 47th Street toward 127th Street, “when she fell asleep and woke up when her car impacted the ditch.”

While the deputy talked to Lam, another deputy came to the patrol car and told Lam that Aleah had died.

According to the court document, Lam told the second deputy, “This is the worst mistake of my life.”

Deputies asked Lam if anyone else was in the car. They say she shook her head no. The deputies say they also noticed that Lam’s eyes were bloodshot, watery and glazed. They say they smelled alcohol on Lam and found an open alcoholic beverage container in the SUV.

The deputies got a search warrant to get a sample of Lam’s blood to check for alcohol content. The blood was drawn at 6:26 a.m. at a Wichita hospital. According to the probable cause affidavit, the results came back in June that Lam tested positive for ethanol of .098, which is above the legal limit of .08.

After Lam’s blood was drawn, a deputy took Lam to jail. He says he advised her of her Miranda rights. He says that while under Miranda, Lam admitted to driving the SUV at the time of the wreck, stating that she fell asleep.

According to the court document, Lam told the deputy she had been at her cousin’s house in Derby and that she drank from approximately 11 p.m. until around 2 a.m. The document says that Lam told the deputy she drank about eight shots of Patron and one Truly while at her cousin’s house.

The deputy says Lam said she did not feel like she was under the influence.

Lam was later charged with involuntary manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol.

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