Falls woman charged, treated for overdose after hitting fire truck

·2 min read

Jun. 10—A 30-year-old woman who drove into a city fire truck on Tuesday afternoon is facing several charges, including a felony Leandra's Law violation.

Amber L. Ruffes, 30, 9815 Niagara Falls Blvd., Apt. 17, was charged with aggravated DWI with child, DWI, first-degree driving while impaired by drugs, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, following too closely, restraint violation for a back passenger between the ages of 4 and 6, refusal to take a breath test, resisting arrest and endangering the welfare of a child.

The accident occurred about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday on the 600 block of 10th Street. Firefighters on Niagara Falls Fire Truck 1 told police they were stopped at the light at 10th and Pine when the truck was rear-ended. Ruffes told police while she was approaching the stop sign her brakes failed and she hit the fire truck. A 5-year-old child was in the backseat of the vehicle.

Officers noticed several signs of impairment while speaking with Ruffes. An officer also noted she smelled of a alcohol. The officer also said he suspected both drug and alcohol impairment. After a failed field sobriety test and her failure to submit to a breath test, officers said they tried to place her under arrest but she resisted. The officers said she eventually tripped over her own feet and struck her face on the pavement before she was placed in handcuffs.

An open bottle of Hennessy Cognac was found after a search of her vehicle. Several Tramadol Hydrochloride and Gabapentin pills as well as suboxone was found in a clear baggie in the car as well.

Police noted there was no child car seat in the car.

Ruffles was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center for treatment of her wound and to submit to a blood test. While at the hospital, officers said Ruffes began to become incoherent and pass out. Hospital staff said it was a sign of overdose and treated her with Narcan, to which she had a positive reaction, indicating she was affected by opiates.

Police noted that Child Protective Services were also notified of the incident.