Local News

Mom charged with DWI after children hurt in wreck

Posted March 30, 2011 12:51 p.m. EDT
Updated March 31, 2011 12:31 p.m. EDT

— A Jones County woman faces a drunken driving charge following a Wednesday morning collision near Roseboro that injured her and her four children, authorities said.

Becky Jane Lavendier, 26, of Trenton, was trying to pass another westbound vehicle on N.C. Highway 24 shortly after 8 a.m. when her Lincoln sedan collided head-on with a Mitsubishi Galant, said Trooper J.L. Murphy of the state Highway Patrol.

"She had the slurred speech. Her eyes were bloodshot, red and glassy," Murphy said of Lavendier, adding that he also smelled alcohol on her breath.

Lavendier was charged with driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving and failure to properly restrain a child.

Murphy said the children weren't in car seats, but he hadn't determined by late Wednesday whether anyone in Lavendier's car was wearing a seat belt.

"You think that a parent would take care of kids better than that and not put them in jeopardy such as she has," he said.

Numerous head-on collision have occurred on the two-lane N.C. 24 between Fayetteville and Clinton in the past, and Murphy said an impaired driver on a rain-slick road increases the likelihood of a wreck.

"You've got several passing zones, but they're short. You've got some people who probably take a chance," he said.

Three children in Lavendier's car – Samantha Hawkins, 9, Elizabeth Hawkins, 8, and Alexandria McMaster, 2 – were taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville for treatment. Samantha was in good condition, while the other two children were in critical condition.

Lavendier and a fourth child in her car, Barbara McMaster, 4, were taken to Sampson Regional Hospital in Clinton for treatment. The child was listed in good condition, while Lavendier was in serious condition.

The driver of the Mitsubishi, Tiffany Lechelle Carlton, of Warsaw, also was taken to Sampson Regional Hospital, where she was listed in serious condition.