Suburban Chicago woman arrested for DUI after driving with 15-foot tree stuck in grille

ROSELLE (FOX 32 / Sun-Times Media Wire) - A 54-year-old woman charged with DUI in northwest suburban Roselle after being pulled over with a tree stuck in the hood of her car has become something of an Internet sensation.

Maryann Christy, of the 500 block of Spruce Court in Schaumburg, was pulled over just after 11 p. m. Jan. 23 when a Roselle police officer spotted something strange-what appeared to be a 15-foot tree sticking out of the front of her car.

DON'T DRINK & DRIVE: A suburban #Chicago cop recently saw a car driving with a 15-foot tree embedded in the front grille of the vehicle.

The officer pulled the car over on Central Avenue, according to Roselle Deputy Chief Roman Tarchala. Police had received a prior call about a vehicle driving with a tree embedded in the grille.

Christy told police that she had struck the tree earlier somewhere in Schaumburg, but could not remember where, Tarchala said.

She was charged with two counts of DUI and cited for operating an uninsured vehicle and driving with an obstructed windshield, according to the police report.

"I've been in law enforcement for 28 years and I've never seen anything like it," Tarchala said.

Neither had Facebook users, who shared photos of the incident more than 22,000 times since it was posted last Friday, and viewed a video of the incident more than 221,000 times since it was posted on Monday.

The popularity of the posts took the department by surprise.

"Since we are new to Facebook, we were not quite sure what to expect from our post. We have received requests to post the video from this call. Some just didn't believe it was true…" the department wrote when posting the video. "Yes, it is true and it happened! Don't drink and drive."

Christy was released on bond until her next court appearance, scheduled for 9 a.m. April 15 at the DuPage County Judicial Center in Wheaton, according to police.

But the DUI charge might not be her only problem. Schaumburg police said Tuesday they have tracked down the original crash site and filed more charges against Christy.

"The tree was struck near 955 American Lane," but no calls were made reporting the incident, Lt. Shawn Green said.

The driver has been charged with failure to report a property damage crash, and damage to village property, he said.

The address is a small park area in front of the City Bank Experian offices, about 5 miles from the site where Christy was pulled over.

The tree was the only property damaged, according to Green..