The mother, Leslie Joe Zeagler, 30, also faces a charge of driving under the influence

By Jeff Truesdell
April 21, 2020 03:26 PM
Credit: Mullins Memorial Funeral Home; Lee County Sheriff's Office

A Florida mom whose 3-year-old daughter died after being ejected in a car crash is facing manslaughter charges after police allege the mother failed to restrain the girl in a legally required child-restraint device.

The girl, Serenity Rose Robinson, died from injuries she suffered in the February 17 crash in Fort Myers.

On Monday, Serenity’s mother, 30-year-old Leslie Joe Zeagler, turned herself in to authorities, Fort Myers police said in a news release.

Zeagler is charged with aggravated manslaughter by causing the death of a person under 18 by culpable negligence; DUI manslaughter; and driving while license suspended, revoked or canceled.

She has not entered please to any of the charges, and an attorney who might speak on her behalf was not immediately identified.

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According to investigators, Zeagler was driving when she blacked out, causing her car to leave the roadway and strike several trees.

In the course of the crash, the vehicle rolled over and the child was ejected, police said.

The mother and another passenger in the vehicle were treated and released with minor injuries.

The daughter was allegedly not restrained in the vehicle at the time of the crash, and investigators believe the vehicle was not carrying a child-restraint device as required by Florida law.

In addition, according to police, “Zeagler was found to be impaired by multiple controlled substances while operating the motor vehicle at the time of the crash.”

“The senseless death of Serenity is one that certainly could have been avoided,” said the police statement. “The Fort Myers Police Department reminds motorists not to drive while impaired and certainly not with a restrained or unrestrained child in the car.”

Zeagler is being held in Lee County jail with no bond, reports Fort Myers TV station WINK.