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8-year-old dies days after NCDOT truck crash; court docs reveal woman charged was on methadone

Three other children were seriously hurt. Court documents revealed Amber Whitaker had "slurred speech" and was "nodding off" during questioning after the crash.

LEXINGTON, N.C. — Editor's Note: Video from Wednesday after woman charged bonded out of jail.

Lexington police said an 8-year-old died Thursday morning from injuries received in a crash involving a North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) truck. Three other children were also hurt. One of them, a 3-year-old, remains in critical condition. 

A woman was charged with driving while impaired in the crash. WFMY News 2 is waiting to hear back from law enforcement on whether more charges are forthcoming following the child's death. 

It happened Tuesday at 10 a.m., near Fairview Drive in Lexington. According to the probable cause affidavit, investigators said the driver was high on drugs at the time and was driving with a revoked license. 

Officers on the scene said Amber Whitaker failed to stop at a stop sign held by a transportation worker. The court document reveals she then crashed into the back of the truck. 

Officers said Whitaker admitted to taking 200 milligrams of methadone, had a slow and slurred speech, and was nodding off during questioning. 

Police also found Xanax in the car. 

Credit: WFMY

The four kids in the car that crashed are ages 3, 4, 8 and 15. The 3 and 4-year-olds are Whitaker's children. 

They were taken to Brenner's Hospital with severe injuries. 

Police said the 8-year-old died early Thursday morning and the 3-year-old remains in critical condition.  

Whitaker is charged with DWI and reckless driving. Police said more charges are expected. 

There was an NCDOT transportation worker in the truck at the time of the crash. The worker was not injured but NCDOT Division Maintenance Engineer, John Rhyne, said he sees people drive into work zones more often than they would like.

He said as summer travel and construction ramp up, this is a reminder to take it slow.

"I always say when I'm talking to the public, 'please pay attention, when you drive through a work zone, when you see those orange signs, become a little bit more alert, put that phone down, there's somebody's father, there's somebody's mother standing out there on the side of the road trying to do their job,'" said Rhyne. 

Whittaker got out of jail Wednesday morning after posting a $500 bond. The District Attorney's office told WFMY News 2 the bond amount only accounted for the DWI charge. Whitaker hasn't been charged with anything else at this time. Her next court date is set for July 20. 

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