UNC student charged in wrong-way I-85 crash released on bond
Posted July 28, 2015
Hillsborough, N.C. — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student charged with murder after a wrong-way crash on Interstate 85 last week was released from jail Tuesday afternoon.
Chandler Michael Kania's family posted his $1 million bond and left the Orange County jail with him in the back seat. He will be under house arrest at his home in Asheboro, defense attorney Roger Smith Jr. said.
Kania, 20, is charged with three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, one count of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, driving the wrong way on an interstate, careless and reckless driving, driving after consuming alcohol as a minor, possession of alcohol by a minor and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.
State Highway Patrol troopers say the rising UNC-Chapel Hill junior was driving north in the southbound lanes near the split of I-85 and Interstate 40 in Orange County on July 19 when his Jeep Wrangler collided with a Suzuki driven by Felecia Harris.
Harris, 49, of Charlotte, her friend Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte, and Harris' granddaughter Jahnice Baird, 6, of Brooklyn, N.Y., were killed in the fiery wreck. Harris' daughter, Jahnia King, 9, was seriously injured but has since been released from UNC Hospitals.
Authorities said Kania used a fake ID to drink at two Chapel Hill bars the night before the crash. Friends tried to stop him from getting behind the wheel, but he fought with them, knocking one to the ground, authorities said.
Defense attorneys said Monday that they want to get Kania into an alcohol treatment facility as he recovers from injuries he suffered in the crash.
"Chandler will immediately seek the medical care and physical therapy he needs to recover from the injuries he sustained," Smith said in an email to WRAL News. "Once he has recovered from his injuries and is physically able, he will focus on other areas of treatment. Chandler and the Kania family continue to grieve and mourn for the victims and their families."