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Father charged in crash that badly injured children

ST. PAUL -- A Brooklyn Park man crashed a van in St. Paul early Tuesday and left his seriously injured children in the vehicle when he fled, prosecutors charged in an eight-count complaint Wednesday.

The neck of Amarya Ward-West, 14, was broken, and her family has been told she may not walk again. Almond Ward-West, 8, had a severed artery in his leg and a broken femur. Both have undergone surgery and will need more, their aunt has said.

Police were called to the crash at 3:22 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Hazel Street and Mechanic Avenue. They were told Earl Lionell Ward, 45, of Brooklyn Park, was the driver.

Police got information that Ward was at his sister's residence in the 1500 block of Marion Street. They found him in the parking lot about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday. He was sleeping in a parked car, and police smelled "a strong odor of an alcoholic substance on his breath," the criminal complaint said.

The Ramsey County attorney's office charged Ward with four counts of criminal vehicular operation-great bodily harm, two counts of child endangerment and two counts of violation of a domestic abuse no-contact order.