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On Sept. 16, Dazia Lee of Charlotte lost her son, Kaiden, during Hurricane Florence when floodwaters rushed her car.

On Oct. 29, she was charged with involuntary manslaughter, and driving on a closed or unopened highway in the toddler’s death.

The Washington Post reports Lee thought the storm was over,and strapped 1-year-old Kaiden Lee-Welch into his car seat and headed toward her grandmother’s house. She told The Post that she saw cars emerging from a road that had barricades along the sides and thought it was safe. But after she drove past the barricades, her car was hit by a rush of water, and when she tried to escape, she lost her grip on little Kaiden. His body was found the next day.

“The evidence would support the filing of charges,” said Tony Underwood, chief communications officer for the sheriff’s office. Referring to a news conference at the New Salem Volunteer Fire Department the day Kaiden was found, he told The Post, “The facts were pretty well laid out based on that.”

At that conference, Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey said barricades had been put up on the road. “Whether someone else moved those barricades and she drove around ’em, I can’t say,” he said.

“This mama has suffered tragically,” Cathey said. “She lost a child. That’s all you can say. But let me say this: These were dangerous times. Driving through water where the roads are closed is dangerous for anybody.”

The Post reports, Lee was served with a summons to appear in court Nov. 20 and the manslaughter charge carries a 13- to 16-month sentence.

To Corine Mack, president of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch of the NAACP, the decision to charge Lee stems from racism.

“She was attempting to get her child out of the car, not to have her child die, and to charge her on top of the fact that she is in mourning for the rest of her life, that represents implicit bias, insensitivity, and even racism,” Mack told the Post.

Mack also pointed out that two sheriff’s deputies have not been charged in the drowning deaths of two mental health patients in their care during the storm.

It is unclear what sort of legal representation Ms. Lee has.

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8 thoughts on “N.C. Mother Charged With Drowning Death Of Her Toddler During Hurricane Florence

  1. MAC WANNA BE, RESPONSIBLITLY, AND SO CALLED AA WOAMN, YOU ARE ALL VERY IGNORANT. I SHOULD CERTAINLY HOPE THAT NOTHING LIKE THIS EVER HAPPENS TO ANY OF YOU, BUT IF IT DID I THINK YOU WOULD DESERVE TO BE CHARGED JUST FOR SIMPLY BEING A HUMAN BEING. IF YOU DON;’T LIKE BLACK PEOPLE, HAVE SUCH DISDAIN FOR THEM, AND ONLY WISH THEM TO BE LOCKED UP AND PUT AWAY WHY ARE YOU ON THIS SITE? OH, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO LIVES AND NOTHING TO LIVE FOR OTHER THAN TO ATTEMPT TO TORTURE, SAY HURTFUL THINGS AND THEN GO BACK TO YA MAMA’S BASEMENT AND CONTINUE TO DRINK FROM HER FUNKY BREAST WHY OLAYING WITH YAH DADDY WHO SHOULD HAVE SWALLOWED AND PREVENTED YOU FROM EVEN EXISITING. YOU ALL ARE FAKE AND DESERVE EACH OTHER. THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS WHNE YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO INTERACT WITH REA HUMANS. PLEASE GO FIND THE TRAIN OR SEMI THAT IS WAITING ON YOU TO COME PLAY IN TRAFFIC. THE DEVIL IS WAITING N YOU TO COME TO HELL WITH HIM..

  2. ResponsibilityInControl on said:

    This is not a race situation!!!!……………………….The local investigation as proved and with the mothers admission that she drove around/through the barriers. Warnings were all over television, social media, and radio and these warning specifically stated do not drive through standing water and avoid closed roads. She was careless and contributed to the death of her child its a very sad situation but this is not a racial situation. The sheriffs deputies case and if they will be charged has nothing to do with this situation at all.

  3. Mac Daddy not Baby Daddy on said:

    Black women are the worst stewards of life on this planet. She needs to be charged to the fullest extent of the law. You idiots defending her crying racism, grow the hell up, you imbeciles

  4. Ted Gravely on said:

    I think words are important in this case. She didn’t move anything – she drove around the barricade. These are her words: “Lee later told authorities someone had pushed the barricades to the side a little, making her think it was okay to go through.” So she didn’t push it, someone else did. It might matter to a juror in a trial. Now remember during the same storm Sheriff Deputies transporting two mental health patients ended up driving through high water drowning those women. You’re not going to believe this – those Deputies were not charged for those deaths (they were eventually fired). Oh yeah, there were barriers on the road, and the van may have gone around them. I’ll say it again. I don’t trust this racist system. “Black men and women are disproportionately arrested and charged for similar infractions of white citizens who are not arrested or charged.” Now her judgement was lacking, because why was she out driving around with a baby. Trust …… if that was my wife and she lost our child under these circumstances – it would be tough rowing. This lady’s mental health is probably on edge and she will live with this bad decision for the rest of her days. A part of her is already dead. She let her baby slip from her hands – Kaiden’s life was in her hands and she failed him. This 20 year old mother made a horrific decision, but charges. Why didn’t they charge those Sheriff Deputies who should have known better? Hmmm.

    • Mac Daddy not Baby Daddy on said:

      Just stop your foolishness Ted. She lied about someone else moving the barricades. When you gonna learn you some? Huh?

  5. African American Woman on said:

    No, this “mother” moved a barrier that was put there because there was a MAJOR hurricane in the area to keep people OFF the road so something tragic like this wouldn’t happen and this FOOL put her baby in harm’s way-actually caused his death-for her driving convenience. Then this FOOL lied and said the barrier was already moved. She was negligent in that poor baby’s death. Can you imagine how terrified that poor, helpless 1 year old was when his tiny body was swept away and water entered his lungs? The baby deserves justice. Who cares is this piece of shit goes to jail. If she got swept away, that’s a different story-she made the dumb decision to move the barrier-but she’s still alive today. Stop making dumb excuses for people’s stupid behavior. She has a duty of care for a child she is responsible for. She failed to protect him and he deserves justice.

  6. It’s bad enuff that this mother lost a child, now she is going to be charged with the child’s DEATH.

    WTF???????????—This is simply adding INSULT TO INJURY!!!!!!!

    She may need to contact Benjamin Crumb, the attorney who represented the Martin family in the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida Maybe he will even take her case pro bono–(free of
    charge.)

    I wish this mother all of the best and hope she can resolve this issue without being charged for something that IS NOT a CRIME, at least if the white folks have not JUST decided to make it into law.

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