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Family, friends mourn on 1st anniversary of wrong way I-85 crash

Posted July 19, 2016

— Family and friends gathered Tuesday to remember the victims and pray for justice on the one year anniversary of a head on collision on Interstate 85 that killed three people.

DeSeante Jones said even though it’s been a year since her mother was killed in the crash, it feels as though it happened yesterday. The mother of two says she doesn’t celebrate Mother’s Day anymore.

“Any of my future endeavors, those of my children, any graduations; she just won’t be there for anything,” she said.

Jones’ mother, 46-year-old Darlene McGee, of Charlotte, was killed on I-85 after Suzuki she was in collided with Chandler Kania, who was driving the wrong way down the interstate after a night of drinking.

The driver of the Suzuki, Felecia Harris, 49, of Charlotte and her 6-year-old granddaughter, Janice Beard, of Brooklyn, N.Y. also died in the crash.

Authorities said Kania used a fake ID to drink at two Chapel Hill bars the night before the crash. Tests showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.17, which is more than twice the level at which a driver is considered impaired under North Carolina law, and that he had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash.

Family, friends and a representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving were in attendance at the vigil Tuesday night. All said they wanted to see justice.

Orange County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Nieman, who was also in attendance, said the court is set to hear motions in August and the case will go to trial in October.

On Tuesday though, he said he was at the gathering as a friend.

‘I felt like it was important to be here because it was an important moment in the life of this town, in the life of the state,” Nieman said.

As Jones thinks about the trial ahead, she said she hopes that Kania will see jail time, but said she is trying to prepare for anything.

‘I’m really up for anything that may come at this point because I didn’t think I would lose my mom at this point,” she said.

Kania is facing three counts of second-degree murder.


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