HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – UNC student Chandler Kania is facing multiple charges after two women and a 6-year-old child were killed in wrong-way crash on Interstate 85 just outside Hillsborough early Sunday morning, North Carolina Highway Patrol officials said.
The wreck happened just after 3 a.m. on I-85 immediately after the Interstate 40 split.
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Kania, 20, of Asheboro, drove his Jeep Wrangler northbound in the southbound lanes and slammed into a Suzuki sedan driven by Felecia Harris, 49, of Charlotte, who died, authorities said.
Two of the three passengers in Harris’ car were killed, including 6-year-old Jahnice Beard of Brooklyn, New York, who was seated in the backseat. A woman in the front seat, Darlene McGee, 46, of Copper Creek Court, in Charlotte was identified Monday afternoon as the third person who died in the crash.
The fourth victim, a child, is being treated for serious injuries at UNC Hospitals.
Kania was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“It’s horrific. It’s hard to imagine anything being worse for people in a car. Three of those people are dead, including a 6-year-old and there’s a 9-year-old that’s been very seriously injured. So I just don’t think it gets any more serious than this,” said Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall.
Kania now faces charges of driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, and possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a motor vehicle, N.C. Highway Patrol officials said Monday.
Woodall said he believes the 20-year-old will be charged with several counts of second-degree murder, felony death by motor vehicle, and a felony assault for the victim who is still alive.
Officials now say that the state’s Alcohol Law Enforcement agency is looking into where Kania got his alcoholic beverage since he is under the legal drinking age.