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$500 bond in Lexington DWI crash: A defense attorney explains the amount

Amber Whitaker's $500 bond reflects her only charge - DWI. A defense attorney, who is not affiliated with the case, said more charges are likely to come.

LEXINGTON, N.C. — An 8-year-old child died two days after a woman crashed into the back of an NCDOT truck Tuesday in Lexington. 

Police said Amber Whitaker was driving the car and four children were inside. A 3-year-old child is still in the hospital in critical condition. 

Whitaker was released on a $500 bond on Wednesday. WFMY News 2 spoke with Criminal Defense Attorney Jason Keith, who is not affiliated with this case, about his perspective on the bond amount. 

"If the person doesn't have a prior criminal history, no record, and have ties to the community, they don't have a history of running or missing court - a $500 bond is not unusual in this type of case," Keith said. 

In cases like Whitaker's, he said it's likely she'll face more charges. But the $500 bond reflects her only current charge - DWI.

"So traditionally if there is some form of an accident as result of an impairment and there's a fatality, pretty often there is some mandatory jail sentence that usually the local county would enforce," Keith said. 

He said if the prosecutor decides to press more charges, Whitaker would be rearrested. 

WFMY News 2 has reached out to the Davidson County District Attorney's office to ask about Whitaker's bond amount and whether more charges are forthcoming. We're waiting to hear back. 

"It breaks my heart every time I hear a story like this because you know lives are absolutely shattered," personal injury attorney David Daggett said. 

Daggett works closely with individuals hurt in impaired driving crashes. 

"My job is to handle what I call the business aspects of the situation for the families of the injured people and to figure out how to best resolve that," Daggett said. 

He said the next steps for the family of the children injured is to wait for more potential charges and seek proper counsel. 

"So getting people involved early who have the expertise to sort through and kind of unwind all the facts and figure out what's going on is very important," Daggett said. 

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