Capitol rioter who stole Nancy Pelosi’s sign is accused of killing mother-of-two in drink-driving crash

Emily Hernandez was out on bond on charges over the Capitol riot when she allegedly drove the wrong way down an interstate while intoxicated

Rachel Sharp
Thursday 06 January 2022 22:20
<p>Emily Hernandez is seen showing off the broken piece of the sign from Nancy Pelosi’s office following the riot</p>

Emily Hernandez is seen showing off the broken piece of the sign from Nancy Pelosi’s office following the riot

An accused Capitol rioter who was caught on video stealing a sign from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office has now been charged with killing a mother-of-two in a drink-driving crash.

Emily Hernandez, 22, was allegedly drunk behind the wheel when she drove westbound along the eastbound lanes of Interstate 44 in Franklin County, Missouri, on Wednesday night, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Victoria Wilson, a 32-year-old mother-of-two, and her husband Ryan Wilson, 36, were travelling in their car in the right direction along the eastbound lanes when, just after 7pm, the two cars collided.

The crash caused the Wilsons’ car to spin and plow into the middle barriers in the road, the traffic crash report said.

Ms Wilson was killed in the crash while Mr Wilson and Ms Hernandez were rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

An arrest report shows Ms Hernandez was charged with driving while intoxicated resulting in death and driving while intoxicated resulting in injury on Wednesday.

At the time of the deadly crash, Ms Hernandez was out on bond on charges connected to the 6 January insurrection.

She was arrested on the new charges just one day before the anniversary of the riot where Donald Trump supporters – fuelled by false claims of election fraud – stormed the US Capitol to try to stop the certification of the votes for Joe Biden.

Five people died in the chaos and 140 police officers were injured that day.

Ms Hernandez was among the rioters accused of invading the Capitol and was captured in infamous photos and videos brandishing a broken piece of the sign torn down from Speaker Pelosi’s office while inside the building, according to Justice Department charging documents.

She was later seen smiling as she showed off the sign outside to fellow rioters, prosecutors said.

Ms Hernandez also allegedly posted videos of herself inside the Capitol on Snapchat.

She was charged with five misdemeanours and is due to plead guilty to one charge under a plea agreement on Monday.

Ms Wilson’s grieving mother questioned why the accused rioter had been free to go on to cause the death of her daughter.

“Why is she still out?” Tonie Donaldson said to the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

“With what she did to the government, why is she still walking the street?... At 7 o’clock, you’re drunk and she got on the highway drunk?”

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