RALEIGH, N.C. – No parent wants to outlive their child. No parent wants to be responsible for their child’s death. Unfortunately, both of these things are true for Laura Lynne Smith who will spend at least the next three years in prison for her part in a car crash that killed her son.
Smith plead guilty in front of a judge on Thursday to the charge of felony death by vehicle and DWI. The charges stem from the October 13, 2014 crash on Creedmoor Road that claimed the life of 12-year-old Anthony Smith.
According to the District Attorney, Smith was operating a 1997 Chevy Suburban while impaired. Smith swerved along the road, came close to hitting another car, and ultimately slammed into a row of trees between Lynn and Sawmill roads. Her son was found deceased in the back seat when law enforcement arrived.
The child was killed by a combination of forces, including the crushed roof of the vehicle and debris flying through the windshield. It took emergency responders 20 minutes to cut the elder Smith from the vehicle who spent five weeks in a local hospital with two broken wrists, liver damage, and a minor brain injury.
Smith was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.32, or four times the legal limit for impairment under North Carolina law. Accident reconstruction investigators determined that Smith was traveling at 74 mph just prior to the crash. The legal speed limit where the crash occurred is 45 mph.
Smith claims to remember nothing of the accident or much of the day. She told investigators that she took her son to school, went home to take a nap, and recalls nothing more of the day. According to her estranged husband, Smith had left the house to take her son to a doctor’s appointment.
During the hearing, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens asked, “How in the world in the middle of the day could somebody have that kind of blood-alcohol and then get in the car with her child and end up with this result?”
Sadly, no one has a clear-cut answer to that question.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to the carelessness of an impaired driver, you need a compassionate, experienced attorney on your side. Contact our offices as soon as you are able. We are here to represent you and your family.