HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -- A former UNC-Chapel Hill student charged in a wrong-way collision that killed two adults and a 6-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the case.
Local media outlets report 21-year-old Chandler Michael Kania of Asheboro pleaded guilty in an Orange County court on Monday to multiple charges:
- Three counts of felony death by motor vehicle
- Felony charge of causing serious injury
- Felony driving while impaired
- Having on open container of alcohol
- Driving after consuming alcohol while under age 21
- Consuming alcohol under age 21
- Two counts of using a false driver’s license
- Driving the wrong way on a dual-lane highway
Kania plead not guilty to three counts of second-degree murder charge and reckless driving. The jury selection for that trial begins Tuesday.
Attorney David Freedman told WFMY News 2, by doing this his attorneys are admitting Kania's guilty of death by motor vehicle but nothing more than that. Now the only issue in the case is malice.
According to WNCN, the maximum sentence is 714 months. However, a judge already said the sentence will be lower because Kania does not have a criminal record.
The N.C. Highway Patrol says Kania was driving north in the southbound lanes near the split of Interstate 85 and Interstate 40 in Orange County on July 19, 2015, when his Jeep Wrangler collided with a Suzuki. In addition to the three people killed, a 9-year-old suffered serious injuries.
Kania was under age when the crash happened in 2015.