Local News

Teen Driver Charged For Role In Deadly Cary Accident

Posted April 14, 2004

— The driver of a car involved in an accident that killed two teens Monday has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Katherine Hart, 16, was charged Wednesday based on her failure to yield right-of-way and exceeding the regulations of her graduated driver's license, which limits her to one passenger in the vehicle when a parent or guardian is not with her.

Hart was driving her vehicle in southern Cary Monday when authorities say she pulled in front of a tractor-trailer trying to make a left turn. Hart's passengers, Breann Gentz and Kassel Smit, were killed in the accident. Hart was in WakeMed in good condition Tuesday.

Rob Foss, of the

UNC Highway Safety Research Center

, said a teen driver with two passengers more than doubles the likelihood of a serious crash.

"Two or more passengers, you get a huge increase in the risk of a crash, in the risk of a fatality," he said.

Hart's first court appearance is scheduled for June 15. Authorities say they do not plan to file charges against the driver of the tractor-trailer.

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