Local News

6-year-old girl killed in Orange County wreck

Posted August 6, 2010
Updated August 7, 2010

— A 6-year-old Efland girl was killed Friday morning in a single-vehicle wreck in Orange County, authorities said.

Cherylann Smith and five children were northbound in an SUV on Orange Grove Road near the intersection of New Grady Brown School Road shortly before 9 a.m. when the vehicle ran off the right side of the road, witnesses said. Smith over-corrected and crossed back over the road, and the SUV overturned off the left side of the road, witnesses said.

Scottlyn Smith was killed in the wreck.

Cherylann Smith, 35, and the four other children were taken to Duke University Hospital where they were treated and released.

Authorities said there were only three child seats in the vehicle, but it was unclear whether some of the children were old enough not to need car seats.

The Highway Patrol continues to investigate the case to determine if charges will be filed against Cherylann Smith.


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  • tracieb547 Aug 11, 2010

    cheryl, you did everything you could do. I wish I had the strength you have shown these past few days. Those who have spouted their ignorance in this situation don't know you for the wonderful person you truly are. I know you will hurt for a long time, but your friends and family will always be there beside you anytime you need a shoulder. We all love you, and those who don't can stuff it.

  • twtant Aug 11, 2010

    Why can't you nasty folks keep your mouth closed? Leave well enough alone and don't rub salt in an open wound. I'm sure you wouldn't like these comments if you were in this family's shoes. They are suffering, so if you can't say anything nice and pray for the family to have peace and strength, please keep your comments to yourself!

  • smithc0867 Aug 11, 2010

    Everytime I close my eyes, I relive it. And I see my baby lying there. I am devastated, and I have to live with the fact that I am the one who was driving the vehicle. I was not speeding, I was not on the phone. I looked down for a brief second. I knew exactly where I was. I grew up on that pond. All I could think was if I hit that pond, my children were going to be submerged in 30 feet of water. I made a split second decision that cost me my princess's life. I wish I could do it over again. I wish that I could have just stayed home that day. I wish I could go to sleep and wake up, go get her and hold her in my arms again. I can not do any of that again. If I want to talk to her, I have to visit her grave, or talk to a picture, or just talk up into the air. I can never hold her again. So, if you ever know this kind of pain and regret, you come see me. I will be the first one there holding your hand through the pain and dispair. Because unfortunately I have been there.

  • smithc0867 Aug 11, 2010

    I am Cherylann. I am Brea's mother. I thank all of you who are praying for my family. For those that have condemned me, there is nothing that you can do or say to me that will ever make this any worse. I pray that you never have to bury your baby. No one should ever have to do that. The ONLY reason I drove an SUV was because I have a large family. We are not all going to fit into some little Prius. That aside, the safety of my children has always been the most important thing to me. You hopefully do not know what it is like to sit there and watch your child die in your arms, wishing you could take her place. I hope you do not know the pain of making all the hard decisions I've had to make the past few days. May you never have the pain of picking out the last dress she will ever wear, or her casket, or any of the other things I've had to do. Believe me, no one can make me feel worse than I already do. I will always blame myself. And I have to live with the memories.

  • anggiet Aug 10, 2010

    I am also a close family friend. Brea was an angel on earth. The mom is a wonderful mother who was adamant about the safety of her children, especially in the car. What we are suffering, no one should have to go thru, but it was in God's plan. Thank you, from the family, for all the prayers and kind comments.

  • cth1 Aug 9, 2010

    "This is my best friend and Bree was like my own child. I can promise you Cheryl would never do anything that would harm one of her children or any one else's. evilpixi33"

    I'm so sorry for your loss and for what the family and friends are having to deal with!! It's so easy for people to sit back and say what they would do in these situation...but, until you're put in that situation you truly don't know what you will do. I'm sure the mother is suffering enough without reading comments that blame her driving. It was a TRAGIC ACCIDENT that resulted in the loss of a beautiful young girl!! Nothing the mother did on purpose...she had all children properly restrained and did the best she could!!

    My prayers are for everyone involved and everyone that has been touched by this child!! I'm sure there will be a void in their lives that will never be filled!! RIP Brea!!

  • evilpixi33 Aug 6, 2010

    This is my best friend and Bree was like my own child. I can promise you Cheryl would never do anything that would harm one of her children or any one else's. No one can say that in the heat of a moment such as this they wouldn't over correct and everyone runs off the road from time to time. If you're heartless enough to want to blame the mother for running off the road or over correcting why don't you go kiss your kid goodnight and keep your comments to yourself. We are all heart broken. No parent should have to go through this.

  • meBNme Aug 6, 2010

    "If you run off the road or drop a wheel onto the shoulder the best remedy is to stop the vehicle then pull back on to the driving lane. Unless you are stopped or going very slowly you cannot pull back onto the roadway without overcorrecting unless the road and the shoulder are the same height"


    If you run off the road and then try hitting the brakes as you suggest, you tehn have uneven traction on the road tires vs the offroad tires, so stopping alone can cause loss of controll.

    If you do manage to stop the vehicle you are then a road hazard and can cause a potentially deadly wreck.

    The correct way to handle such a situation is to let off the gas, hold the wheel steady and just continue riding off the edge and then when the oncoming traffic is clear and the road sholder is more even, gradually ease back onto the road.

    NEVER jerk the wheel back on the road.

    and dont just hit the brakes.

  • dhilliard2 Aug 6, 2010

    Bless that sweet baby's heart - may she rest in peace

  • SweetB Aug 6, 2010

    prayer for all these folks. RIP sweet child.