WAKE COUNTY — Wake County prosecutors have charged the driver in a fatal crash at theState Farmers Marketwith misdemeanor death by vehicle.
A car hit 23-month-old Magdalene Horoszewicz and her father, Peter, 27, against an ATM at the State Farmer's Market on Saturday. The toddler died in the incident.
Bernadette Carrington drove the car in the accident. Her attorney, Keith Gregory, says she is devastated about the girl's death.
"Ms. Carrington herself is obviously distraught. She and her family want the victim's family to know they're very sympathetic to their loss," he says.
Carrington surrendered to authorities Tuesday afternoon after prosecutors met with her defense attorney. The charge is a class one misdemeanor that could bring a maximum sentence of 120 days if she is found guilty. Carrington does not have a criminal record.
Witnesses say the car actually hit the victims twice.
Billy Moon was eating lunch near the cash machine when the accident happened. Like many other witnesses, he is having a hard time getting the images off his mind.
"They're saying what a tragedy it was because it was such a young child," he says. "The first thing I thought about was my granddaughter who is about the same age."
In seven years as a prosecutor, Jeff Cruden says he has never seen a case exactly like this. He says there were no drugs or alcohol involved in the incident. He says Carrington's inexperience behind the wheel may be the cause.
"There was nothing wrong with the car that we could find out," he says. "We wanted to rule all those things out. Misdemeanor death by vehicle was the appropriate charge."
Peter Horoszewicz is listed in stable condition atWakeMed. Carrington was treated for minor injuries at Rex Hospital after the accident.
A memorial fund has been set up in honor of Magadalene Horoszewicz. Contributions can be made to:Magdalene Horoszewiczc/o Centura Bank1027 Highway 70 WestSuite 101Garner, North Carolina 27529
Donations can also be made at local Centura Bank branches.