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Father of 13-month-old girl killed in collision cited with driving left of center

The father of a 13-month-old Gaston County girl who died in a Christmas Day wreck in Wadesboro has been cited with driving left of center, authorities said Tuesday.

Several media outlets had reported earlier that Alex Hooper had been charged with texting while driving, but police say that was an error. Wadesboro police Lt. Steven Kelly said the investigating patrol officer made a mistake in the report and that any disciplinary action would be handled internally.

Alexis Hooper died of injuries several hours after the wreck that occurred shortly after 4 p.m.

Police said Alex Hooper was headed west on U.S. 74 when his Volkswagen crossed the center line and collided head-on with a Dodge.

Hooper, 24, and his wife, Kelsey, 23, and his brother were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Two people in the Dodge were also hospitalized.

Alexis Hooper’s grandmother, Michelle Mason, said Tuesday that Alex and Kelsey Hooper were now “recovering at home.”

“They’re devastated by the loss,” Mason said. “They’re trying to take it a day at a time.”

The last time Mason saw her granddaughter was on Christmas Eve.

“She was her playful, loving, happy, smiling self,” said Mason. “Like always, she was very happy.”

On Christmas Day, the Hoopers went to a family gathering in Hamlet, about 70 miles southeast of Charlotte, and were headed back to Gaston County when the wreck occurred, Mason said.

According to Mason, police said Alex Hooper received a text but never sent one.

She said her son-in-law had been working long hours as a tow-truck driver, and “we think he nodded off.”

Commenting on the erroneous report about Alex Hooper texting while driving, Mason said she felt police “owe my daughter and son-in-law a huge, huge apology. And I think they should do it publicly.”

DePriest: 704-868-7745
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