Local News

Hearing Waived Until Aug. 25 For Teen Charged In 2001 Wreck

Posted August 4, 2003

— A man charged in connection with a deadly accident two years ago made a court appearance Monday morning.

Police arrested Chris Petersen over the weekend and charged him with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Officers believe he was racing on I-540 alongside the four teenagers who died in the accident.

In court Monday morning, Petersen's hearing was waived until Aug. 25.

Just getting to the point where charges for manslaughter were filed against Petersen gives comfort to the mother of one of the victims -- even though it doesn't give her the one thing she wants most.

"The one thing that would make me feel better," Dee Welch said, "is the thing you know you'll never have."

That one thing is her daughter, Jamie Brewer, who died with three other teens in the car accident on May 30, 2001. The Wake County district attorney's office believes Petersen is partly responsible, having agreed to race the car carrying the four victims.

"The law in North Carolina is clear that if you participate in racing, you are responsible," Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said. "And we will resolve that matter in court."

Petersen's newly-hired attorney wouldn't say Monday if Petersen accepts responsibility.

"Obviously, anyone in this situation views it as a tragedy," attorney Trey Fitzhugh said. "But beyond that, there's precious little that can be said because our contact has been so limited at this point."

Welch just wants Petersen to pay for actions she believes contributed to killing her daughter.

"You can't do something like this and misrepresent it to the police and expect to get away with it," Welch said.

If he is convicted of the four counts of manslaughter, Petersen could face up to eight years in prison.

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