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Woman killed in apartment fire never got over fatal crash, friends say

Posted January 5, 2015
Updated January 6, 2015

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— A woman who Raleigh police say killed herself by setting her apartment on fire was having difficulty coping with the death of a close friend whom she killed in a car crash seven months ago, friends said Monday.

Anastasiya Katherine Bergeron died Friday evening from injuries she received during the blaze at Trails of North Hills apartments on Generation Drive.

Firefighters found Bergeron severely burned on the patio beneath her upper-floor apartment when they arrived at the complex around 7:15 p.m.

Bergeron died at a local hospital.

The 19-year-old was scheduled to be in court Feb. 13 on charges – including misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, drug possession and driving while impaired – stemming from the May 29 wreck that killed Chase Morgan Rodgers, 20, of Cary.

Rodgers was sitting in the front passenger seat of a car driven by Bergeron that afternoon when, police said, it crashed into some woods on eastbound Interstate 40 in Raleigh. She and a passenger in the back of the car were injured.

Bergeron had posted a suicide note on a social media site, but friends – who did not want to be identified – said they were unsure how much Rodgers' death might have influenced her decision.

They do know, however, that she was still very distraught over the crash and grieving for Rodgers. The friends said they do not think she was worried about what would happen with the criminal charges.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Marshall said her upcoming court appearance was a general hearing and that a trial date had not been set.

Rodgers' father, Darryl Rodgers, declined to comment Monday, saying only that his prayers are with Bergeron's family.

Friday's fire damaged or destroyed 14 apartments, according to authorities. There were no other injuries, but 24 people were displaced by the fire.

Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath said investigators believe Bergeron poured gasoline on the floor of her apartment and then lit it.

The fire quickly spread to neighboring units.

"(She was) obviously a very, very sick young lady. I feel sorry for her friends and her family and for her," McGrath said. "While we're saddened, we're just grateful we didn't lose anyone else."

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  • JAT Jan 6, 2015

    Alexia - yes, it was her fault. She sought out the drugs and used them. She drove. She sped. She killed someone. And, in my time, which is probably a lot further back than your time, a kid would have been prosecuted for this. It's called being held responsible for your actions, something which these 3 kids have learned the hard way.

  • JAT Jan 6, 2015

    OK - she didn't care how many others she hurt. Just like she did drugs and was speeding when she was in the car - she didn't care. Driving on drugs, speeding, suicide - none of it makes sense.

  • JAT Jan 6, 2015

    If you read these teens FB posts, you'd see that they had issues long before the car crash. It's very sad the stuff the write and the lack of parental guidance 2 of them apparently had/has. And all their "friends" play right along with it: foul language, total disrespect for everyone (parents, teachers, police, others); drug use; etc. But no one does anything to stop it. Perhaps they chose the path they did to "stand out" or 'rebel' or whatever, but they chose the wrong way to do it. Kids need parents to parent, not be their friends, not laugh at their mistakes, not have an "out of sight out of mind" attitude on child-rearing. It's very sad. 3 lives; 2 deaths and 1 still very missed up.

  • ok_then Jan 6, 2015

    So let me get this right.. she was so upset of killing someone.. that she SET FIRE to her apartment.. not knowing HOW MANY MORE people she could kill in the process?? Does this make sense to anyone else???

  • Margaret Cooper Jan 5, 2015
    user avatar

    No words can capture the depth of the tragedy. Loving thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones

  • educgrad Jan 5, 2015

    so sad,we live in this neighborhood.

  • LetsBeFair Jan 5, 2015

    she deserved more support. RIP

  • Susan West Jan 5, 2015
    user avatar

    Does anyone else find this very suspect? The entire thing ( the initial; car accident ) is so horribly tragic, it's beyond awful. Statistics do show that women are very very unlikely to kill themselves in a manner that disfigures them, I just find it very suspect.

  • Garnerwolf1 Jan 5, 2015

    How did she get to the patio underneath her apt? If she was that distraught about the death in the car accident, did she not think that an apt. fire might also result in other deaths. Very tragic situation but seems there are a lot of questions here. That we'll never know the answers to. I feel for the families of those involved.

  • Fastglass Jan 5, 2015

    I cannot begin to imagine what it would feel like to be in such a deep dark place. I would never judge someone for taking their own life. But, she put so many innocent lives at risk by her decision to start an apartment fire. That's unbelieably upsetting. If your only option left in your mind is to end it all, then make that decision for yourself. Don't make that decision for others.

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