A Ballwin, Missouri mother has been hit with a slew of charges after she set her car on fire with her children inside. The woman, 44-year-old Kara Koriath, drenched her car floor in gasoline and filled the cabin with fireworks before setting it on fire.
Officials accuse Koriath of waking up her 16 and 13-year-old children in the middle of the night and telling them they needed to visit their grandmother in the hospital. While driving down a highway, Koriath sparked a lighter in her car and the vehicle burst into flames.
After the flames erupted, Koriath lost control of the car and drove off the road. Her children suffered burns and smoke inhalation injuries.
While investigating Koriath’s car, officials found the woman packed her car with fireworks prior to setting it on fire. Packages of fireworks were tied together throughout the car using pipe cleaners and fuses. Mortar shells were attached to the headrests. Bottles of lighter fluid were stored in the glove compartment, and the driver’s side floor was soaked in gasoline. Police found a melted lighter on the car’s floor.
Authorities believe Koriath’s act may have been a convoluted attempt to get back at her married boyfriend. Police say she’d recently given the man an ultimatum to leave his wife for her. She also sent him “goodbye” texts, one of which said his decision not to leave his wife “will haunt you every day for the rest of your life.” (Good call on not leaving your wife for this one, sir.)
Police suspect Koriath was hoping to kill both herself and her children with her pyrotechnic act. She left suicide notes displayed at her house alongside her will and life insurance information.
After surviving the incident, Koriath was taken into custody. She has been charged with felony driving while intoxicated, second-degree assault, and child endangerment.
Just in case you were wondering, there was no grandmother at the hospital.