Local News

Wrongful death suit filed in wrong-way I-85 crash

Posted August 11, 2015

— The daughter of a woman killed last month in a head-on collision involving a Jeep driving the wrong way on Interstate 85 filed a wrongful death suit Tuesday against the accused wrong-way driver and his father.

State Highway Patrol troopers say Chandler Michael Kania, 20, of Asheboro, was driving north in the southbound lanes near the split of I-85 and Interstate 40 in Orange County on July 19 when his Jeep Wrangler collided with a Suzuki driven by Felecia Harris.

Harris, 49, of Charlotte, her friend Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte, and Harris' granddaughter Jahnice Baird, 6, of Brooklyn, N.Y., were killed in the fiery wreck. Harris' daughter, Jahnia King, 9, was seriously injured.

Authorities said Kania, a rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 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.

McGee's daughter, Deseante Jones, who is administering her estate, alleges in the lawsuit that Kania's actions were negligent and amounted to willful conduct. She also alleges that Kania's father, Michael Kania, is liable because he owned the Jeep and allowed his son to drive it.

The lawsuit seeks at least $25,000 in compensatory damages and unspecified punitive damages.

Chandler Kania is under house arrest awaiting trial on the following charges: three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, one count of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, driving the wrong way on an interstate, careless and reckless driving, driving after consuming alcohol as a minor, possession of alcohol by a minor and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.


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  • Teddy Fowler Aug 12, 2015
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    Did not take long for the grief to change to greed

  • Russell Hunter Aug 12, 2015
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    When I turned 16, I purchased and paid for my own car, and my parents required me to pay my own insurance. My kids will have to do the same... learn some responsibility and to pay for the privilege of having an automobile, and maybe they will respect it a bit more and avoid calamitously stupid behavior such as Mr. Kania exhibited. That comes from being spoiled and given everything on a silver platter.

  • Shannon Robbins Aug 12, 2015
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    Not only that but kids (even adult kids) have to be told that their actions affect not just them. I told my kids BEFORE they got their permits that they have to be responsible when driving my car (or "their" car while on my insurance) because any accident would open me up to being sued and I could lose everything including my house. If they wanted to do something stupid or careless they would have to wait until they were on their own insurance policy and the car was in their name.

  • Brian Hill Aug 12, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    It is standard procedure to sue everyone who might be liable and let the courts sort it out. It is much easier to drop a defendant than it is to add a new one after the lawsuit has been filed.

  • Angie Cox Aug 12, 2015
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    while I feel bad for the people who died this is absurd. she's going to sue the Dad for letting his son drive a car. what is the world coming to. let your Mom rest in peace for crying out loud. geez