A Hoover wife and mother has been identified as the woman killed in the wrong-way crash on Interstate 65 in Hoover Sunday morning.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office today identified the victim as Crystal Lavonne Ponder. She was 34, and her own mother died in a traffic crash when she was younger.
The crash happened at 3:45 a.m. on I-65 southbound between Alford Avenue and Montgomery Highway. Hoover police spokesman Lt. Keith Czeskleba said a silver Chevrolet Cruze was driving northbound in the southbound lanes and hit a Honda Accord.
The Honda was then struck by a black Chevrolet Cruze. The driver of the first Cruze got out of his vehicle and fled on the foot, Czeskleba said.
Pedro Ivan Rico Mendoza, 19, is charged with reckless murder in the Sunday death of Crystal Lavonne Ponder.
Ponder was pronounced dead on the scene at 4:01 a.m. Her husband, the driver, and her young son were both hospitalized. Their injuries are said to be serious.
The driver and passenger from the black Chevrolet Cruze were also taken to UAB, both with minor injuries.
The driver of the silver Chevrolet Cruze was taken into custody after officers searching the area found him walking on Alford Avenue. Czeskleba said they are withholding his name pending formal charges, which are expected today.