Capitol Stormer from Missouri Arrested in Deadly Crash


Emily Hernandez was recorded with a piece of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's stolen nameplate. - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE EXHIBIT
  • Emily Hernandez was recorded with a piece of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's stolen nameplate.

Emily Hernandez, filmed a year ago parading the shards of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's nameplate through the U.S. Capitol, was arrested Wednesday night in Franklin County on suspicion of drunkenly killing a woman in a car crash.

Hernandez, 22 of Sullivan, was going the wrong way about 7 p.m. on Interstate 44 near St. Clair, driving a Volkswagen Passat west in the eastbound lanes when she collided with a Buick Enclave, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The Buick's passenger, 32-year-old Victoria Wilson of St. Clair, was killed. Her husband, Ryan Wilson, 36, was injured and taken to Missouri Baptist Medical Center.

Victoria Wilson was a mother of two, according to a GoFundMe page created to help the family pay for her funeral. The post says her husband would need surgery.

Hernandez, who was also injured, was taken to Mercy Hospital. The highway patrol arrested her on charges of driving while intoxicated resulting in death and driving while intoxicated resulting in serious physical injury.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported Hernandez's connection to the Capitol riots. Her attorney in that case, Ethan Corlija, told the newspaper he visited her Wednesday night in the hospital and that the crash was a "tragic event."

"My heart goes out to the other motorist who lost their life and family," Corlija told the daily.

Hernandez is scheduled to enter a plea in the Capitol case on January 10. She was charged in January 2021 with five misdemeanors and allowed to remain free as her case proceeded, a common arrangement in the Capitol cases with low-level charges.

She was part of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the building on January 6, 2021, as rioters sought to overturn the results of the presidential election. Members of Congress were forced into hiding for hours as the intruders threatened to kill lawmakers, including Vice President Mike Pence and Pelosi. Footage from the scene showed her gleefully carrying Pelosi's broken nameplate through the Capitol after members of the mob ransacked congressional offices.

Five people died in connection with the attack, and more than 700 people have been charged in the year since. Hernandez reportedly rode to the rally with her uncle, William Merry, and his friend, Paul Westover. All three were filmed together alongside rioters. Merry and Westover have already pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.

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