Reports detail underage drinking at UNC that led to deadly crash

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Documents released Tuesday detail a heavy night of drinking by University of North Carolina student Chandler Kania, a night in which one friend attempted to stop him but Kania shoved him off.

Kania had a blood alcohol content of 0.17, well above the legal limit of .08, when he had an accident and killed three people July 19 on Interstate 85. Kania, 20, was under the legal drinking age at the time and a police officer discovered an empty 18-can pack of Coors in the median near his car. Another student told detectives “Kania used marijuana on a daily basis” but did not give any details about drug use the night of the accident.

Chandler Kania
PHOTOS: UNC student Chandler Kania in crash 

The affidavits, given by four people who were with Kania that night, gave authorities details on what happened, including details on how the underage students were able to drink at well-known Chapel Hill bars La Residence and He’s Not Here. The documents showed that Kania and his friends used fake IDs to get into the two Chapel Hill bars – for example, one student described going to La Residence about 40 times and He’s Not Here about 150 times.

The students used fake identification cards to enter the bars, one friend of Kania’s told police, butwere not checked after that.

In one document from Alcohol Law Enforcement, agent D.R. Richardson said he spoke to bar manager Patrick Murdock of La Residence.  According to Richardson’s report: “Murdoch explained employees of La Residence do not check identifications at the bar but rather relies on door staff to ensure all patrons inside are 21. I told him [Murdock] that identification must be checked at the point of sale, which is the bar.”

Kania was apparently upset about an argument involving a girl, according to the affidavits.

The night started at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house, where Kania arrived around 7:30 p.m. with an 18-pack of Coors beer. One student said Kania drank two beers at the fraternity before going out.

Later that night, Kania arrived at a party at the Shortbread Lofts apartments on West Rosemary Street sometime around 11 p.m. One person remembered seeing Kania drinking Coors beer at the apartment of a girl hosting a party; another remembered he had three vodka shots.

Shortly after midnight, a group of students headed to the nearby La Residence, which one student said Kania frequented often.

The group went to He’s Not Here after that, where receipts showed Kania purchased two $7 beers at 1:43 a.m. Kania returned to the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house around 2:10 a.m.

One friend described Kania as “belligerent and drunk, mad, and drawing attention to himself.”  The student described Kania as “pretty out of control” and said Kania was not usually like that.

After they left He’s Not Here and went to the fraternity house, the friend “unsuccessfully tried to stop Kania from driving away from the fraternity house by physically struggling with Kania and taking his cellphone in hopes Kania would not leave. Rather, Kania left, shortly returned and then drove away not to be seen again that morning.”

The friend told authorities he tried to tackle Kania to keep him from driving but was overpowered and knocked to the ground.

Kania, from Asheboro, was driving the wrong way on I-85 around 3 a.m. when his Jeep Wrangler slammed into a Suzuki sedan driven by Felecia Harris of Charlotte. Harris and two passengers – 6-year-old Jahnice Beard of Brooklyn, New York, and Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte were killed in the crash. One 9-year-old child survived the crash.


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