Mom Charged In Hurricane Florence Death

Discussion in 'News - Breaking News & Political Forum' started by Iwander, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Iwander

    Iwander Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Mother charged with involuntary manslaughter after son drowned in Hurricane Florence | Charlotte Observer

    CRIME
    Mother charged with involuntary manslaughter after son drowned in Hurricane Florence
    October 29, 2018 05:15 PM

    Updated October 29, 2018 05:17 PM

    The mother of a 1-year-old who drowned during Hurricane Florence has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, the Union County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.

    Dazia Ideah Lee, 20, was served with a summons for a November court date, the sheriff’s office said. She has also been charged with driving on a closed or unopened highway.

    Lee was driving with her son, Kaiden Lee Welch, in wet weather on the night of Sept. 16, when Union County was seeing flooding and other effects from the hurricane.


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    Soon after Kaiden died, Lee told the Washington Post and other news outlets that she saw people driving across a bridge over Richardson Creek, and they seemed to be fine, although she also saw barricades nearby.

    “I can tell you that the barricades were up there,” Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey said the day after Kaiden was swept away. “Whether someone else moved those barricades and she drove around ‘em, I can’t say.”

    Officials say Lee’s car was swept off the road as she tried to drive over the bridge.

    Lee was able to get out of her seat and get Kaiden out of his car seat, the Observer reported at the time, but she lost her grip on her son as she tried to maneuver them both through the floodwaters.

    Multiple law enforcement teams searched for Kaiden that night and again in the morning, when his body was found.

    In a statement Monday, Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey said the entire situation was “heartbreaking.”

    “We continue to pray for all those suffering as a result of this child’s death,” Cathey said. “However, after a very thorough investigation and taking all facts into consideration and applying the law, we feel that these charges are appropriate.”



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    Read more here: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article220806720.html#storylink=cpy
     
  2. Crackers Phinn

    Crackers Phinn Either A Blessing Or A Lesson.

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    I see where they got her but this still isn’t right.
     
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  3. Charmingchick1

    Charmingchick1 Well-Known Member

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    Did they investigate and determine that she drove around the barriers? Maybe I’m missing that part. I’m going to need to read more, but it doesn’t sound intentional. Otherwise, she probably would have left the baby in his car seat. If it was an irrational mistake then she’s been punished enough.
     
  4. mensa

    mensa Well-Known Member

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    Now y'all know good and well if it was an "other," they would not be charged with anything. Heck, I read recently that one of them beat and raped a Native American woman. The presiding judge sentenced him to probation!

    Why can't this woman just be fined and let go? After all, she did lose her son.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018
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  5. nysister

    nysister Well-Known Member

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    That poor baby. It never should have ended that way for him.

    I'd need to know more before giving any additional thoughts.
     
  6. Ms. Tarabotti

    Ms. Tarabotti Well-Known Member

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    Was there a reason that she was making this trip during a hurricane?

    Driving while a hurricane is going on is dangerous, especially if your route takes you near water. Just because you see other people driving through floods doesn't mean that it is safe for you to do so, especially if your child is with you.
     
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  7. Iwander

    Iwander Well-Known Member

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    CHARLOTTE —When Dazia Lee tries to bring order to the disorder of that night, it helps her to think in numbers. She thinks of the exact time of every decision, every call, every bit of bad news — reference points leading until the very last when, at 10:20 a.m. on Monday, she received a call from a county detective saying that the body of her 1-year-old son, Kaiden, had been found 15 feet underwater.

    The story of how that happened began the night before, on Sunday, at 7:02.

    All weekend, Lee, 20, had watched the staggering force of Florence rip through the region, killing people and unleashing devastating rains, winds and floods all over North Carolina. But by 7:02, all of that seemed over to her. It was barely even raining in her neighborhood in northeast Charlotte, where she lived with her parents and son. And she was due to visit her grandmother, whom she’d missed seeing over the weekend, at her home in Wadesboro, more than an hour away.

    [​IMG]
    So she brought out her son and went through the routine she always performed to make sure he was safe and comfortable. She buckled him into a car seat in the back of her 2010 Hyundai Elantra. She placed his bottle nearby. She adjusted his white shirt and blue pants. And, knowing how hot Kaiden can get — “all that testosterone,” her sister, Kaila Lee, jokes — she turned on the air conditioning.

    She pulled out, heading south. The roads seemed fine, and there were lots of cars on them. Feeling like there couldn’t be anything more normal than this, she pulled onto the country roads and into Union County.

    Before long, she came upon several orange barrels along Highway 218, near Richardson Creek outside New Salem. They didn’t exactly block the road, she said, but they were on either side of it. She pulled over and thought for a moment. The news had said that some of the roads could be dangerous — “unprecedented” had been how the National Weather Service had described some of the floods — but everything until now had been fine.

    Thinking it over, she saw several cars heading in the opposite direction. They drove through the barrels and past her. It must be fine if they’d made it through, she thought. She put the car into drive and checked the time.

    7:52 p.m.

    She drove between the barrels, down the hill and around the curve. That was when she heard the rush of water.

    'I protected him'

    If there was anything that Lee ever wanted to be, it was a good mom. She had just never expected to be one at such a young age. She was a senior in high school when she found out she was pregnant, and though she knew some people might have counseled either an abortion or adoption, she wanted to have her son.

    So she finished high school, got her diploma and, after carrying him for eight months and six days, gave birth and started working right away. First came a job at a Dunkin’ Donuts. Then at a FedEx warehouse. And later at an Amazon.com distribution center, where she did so much lifting that other co-workers commented on how strong she was. Lee would work overtime shifts, feeling good that she was the one providing — buying Kaiden’s diapers and bottles — raising him as a single parent.

    Every night, she’d come back to Kaiden, taking him on sunset strolls through the neighborhood, impressing her sister with the sort of mother she had become.

    “The only thing she ever wanted was to protect him,” said Kaila, 18. “As soon as he came out of the womb. . . . Whenever he was crying, she was always the first one to go. My mom or I would go and check on him, but she was always already there, feeding him.”

    “I protected him from everything and everybody,” Lee said.

    So on Sunday, when she strapped Kaiden into his car seat and went off into streets that had just been hit with six to eight inches of rain, no one in her family worried. Lee was there. And she would keep Kaiden safe.
    Dazia Lee (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
    'Oh, God'

    It was almost completely dark when the Elantra hit the water and started to hydroplane. The car spun around several times, banked to the left, its tires lifting off the road. For a moment, Lee couldn’t think — her only feeling was fear.

    They were sinking. Water was beginning to rush into the car. She heard herself begin to scream.

    “Oh, God, oh my God, not like this, not like this,” she recalled saying over and over.

    Without unbuckling herself, she reached back for Kaiden. He didn’t look terrified or even worried; his round face showed only confusion. She unstrapped him and began to gather his things, but, realizing there was no time, left the items behind. She got him into her arms and noticed that the windows were already busted. She’d have to climb out.
    Then she saw that her seat belt was still on, and suddenly she was struggling with the most basic of tasks. The water continued to rush in. She finally released the belt and started to climb out, carrying Kaiden, knowing how strong she was, and that she’d never let go. Then, just like that, she was free — until her foot got snagged on her seat belt, and she felt herself plunge into the water.

    It smelled artificial — almost like pool water — but it was thick with mud and grime and who knew what else. She tried to right herself but couldn’t. Brush and tree branches were in her face. Her mouth was filling with water. She couldn’t see a thing.

    She’d been holding Kaiden to her chest. But now she was only holding onto his forearm. The waters whooshed by with surprising force, pulling him away. She had his wrist. Then his hand. Then his fingers. Then he was gone.

    A search in darkness

    12:23 a.m.

    She was being released from the hospital, where she’d been taken for her injuries, which were minimal, after a passerby, whose name she never got, saw the car spin out and helped rescue her. Her parents and sister were now with her, and they were all heading back out to Highway 218.

    Kaila still had some hope. Maybe the boy had been pushed to the side of the creek. Maybe he’d been knocked unconscious and that was why he hadn’t screamed or heard others yelling for him. That hope, however minuscule, disappeared when she saw the flooding.

    “All you could hear was a waterfall,” she said. They called for Kaiden but heard nothing. There was only water and blackness.


    A light came up in the distance, and Kaila shouted: “The news is out here!”

    “I did everything I could,” Lee told the reporter, wiping away tears as the camera operator’s light shone on her face. “From the moment I was pregnant until the moment I lost him. I did everything I could to save and protect him.”

    Now she just wanted to find his body.

    They searched until 5 a.m., in the weeds and wetness of what Florence had left behind. Failing to find her baby, and not knowing what else to do, she went to the Union County Sheriff’s Office. She and Kaila checked in on the news of the loss of Kaiden, and what commenters were saying, much of it unkind to Lee.

    “Mom made a bad decision,” one commenter on Facebook said.

    “Although I feel for this child, I do not feel for the mother,” another said.

    “Negligence,” added another.

    It made everything so much worse. Don’t these people know how much she loved that child, and how the roads had seemed safe?

    Then she couldn’t think anything more, because the phone was ringing, and the voice on the other side was saying, “He’s gone,” and she was looking at the time.

    10:20 a.m., it said

     
  8. Reinventing21

    Reinventing21 Spreading my wings

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    If there still letting white people get away with leaving their children in the back seat of a car on a 90,000 degree day in places known to be hot as %^#& on the regular with 5 zillion stories of children dying in hot cars...

    then SURELY they will get rid of these ridiculous charges against this very young mom who by no means seems to have intended to put herself nor her child in harm's way. After all, it initially seemed like the storm was over, subsided, things were okay for driving---hindsight is always 20/20.

    What would sending her to jail do? She is already paying the ultimate price for something she could not control. Again hindsight is 20/20 or better. She is not a criminal.

    For those that are not parents, it is hard to know just how many trillions of decisions parents have to make constantly regarding their children. It is impossible to make the 'perfect' decision all the time. Most parents will at some time wish they made a different decision. Most of the time fortunately, the 'wrong' decision does not lead to death.

    My heart goes out to this young mom.
     
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  9. nysister

    nysister Well-Known Member

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    The story gives a lot more of a background and understanding the type of person she was.

    I still don't have much of an opinion of the decision short of the fact that she was young and the young often make decisions or take chances that someone older might not. It was poor judgement not malicious intent. I wish her heart some peace.
     
  10. scoobygirl

    scoobygirl Well-Known Member

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    I don't think she should be charged her. A lot of folks misjudged the power of these last two hurricanes and were caught by surprise. It also doesn't help when our elected leaders downplay the severity of the impact and lull folks into a false sense of security. What she did was not that unusual in light of what others in the area have done. Unforunately the consequences are something she will live with the rest of her life.
     
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  11. intellectualuva

    intellectualuva Well-Known Member

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    I feel for her and dont think she should be charged, but we cant get away with the reckless ish white people do...they can ride with babies on their laps in the front seat get into an accident and still have that baby back on their lap while the cops are there (Florida :rolleyes:), leaved them in hot cars.....no one makes a.peep.

    Im sure that girl didnt get out and move those barriers and I dont think she drove around them purposely. Whatever her logic, she paid for those decisions with her baby's life. I never understand moving around during a hurricane, but I can see how some women dont have a choice being the sole provider and maybe have to work or have to pick up their kid after work in the thick of it.
     
  12. Dellas

    Dellas Well-Known Member

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    Meanwhile Anthony Casey is free...
     
  13. intellectualuva

    intellectualuva Well-Known Member

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    And talking about having more children.
     
  14. Angel1881

    Angel1881 Lurker '01; Member '08; First post '17

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    As a former prosecutor , I am only wondering what the D.A.'s office has to prove...
     
  15. ThirdEyeBeauty

    ThirdEyeBeauty Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely right! I knew a case where the father was the cause of his son drowning. After all, he was drunk. Judged told him he suffered enough.
     
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  16. yamilee21

    yamilee21 Well-Known Member

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    The cops who allowed the two white women patients to drown while they stood on top of their vehicle have not been charged with anything. If that callous act of indifference is being treated as a "tragic accident" this should as well. Racist double standards at work, as usual.
     
  17. nysister

    nysister Well-Known Member

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    I had wondered about that. They haven't been charged with anything? Their acts seemed criminally negligent. Terrible.
     
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  18. dicapr

    dicapr Well-Known Member

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    I feel split. Everyone in NC knows you don’t go around barriers in the road and every year people die because their dumb but think they are “special “ or other cars made so they should have been able to. It is known that if the barriers are still there the road is unsafe. If she was unable to understand that she shouldn’t have had a drivers license.

    Year after year we hear the same stories and year after year somehow people still fall into the same death trap. People know and they make informed decisions to ignore the danger because they think it won’t happen to them.

    That all being said I think living with the fact that your poor decision making killed your child is punishment enough. And the fact that someone white might have gotten away with it isn’t an arguement I will even entertain. She killed a child-he is the focus for me not her or racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
     
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  19. Leeda.the.Paladin

    Leeda.the.Paladin Well-Known Member

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    I have never in my life heard of a charge in this type of situation. :nono:
     
  20. TCatt86

    TCatt86 Well-Known Member

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    charging her seems excessive.
     
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  21. TCatt86

    TCatt86 Well-Known Member

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    charging her seems excessive.
     

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