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1 killed, 5 hurt in Charlotte wreck

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

A 4-month old girl was killed and five other people were injured in a northern Charlotte wreck Tuesday afternoon that police say involved alcohol, high speed and a driver’s attempt to illegally pass a car.

Investigators have not released the infant’s name. Detectives say the child wasn’t in a car seat, but was sitting on the lap of a backseat passenger when the car flipped and the baby was ejected and crushed by the car.

The driver, Thabiti Ashim Pierre-Louis, who turned 21 on Friday, was seriously injuried in the crash. He’s charged with driving while impaired, child seat violation and overcrowding a vehicle. When he’s released from the hospital, police plan to charge him with felony death by motor vehicle, reckless driving, possession of marijuana and child neglect.

The single-car crash happened around 2:45 Tuesday. Pierre-Louis was driving a 2000 Nissan Altima north on Old Statesville Road toward uptown Charlotte.

“Pierre-Louis was operating his vehicle recklessly and at a high rate of speed while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage,” according to police.

Pierre-Louis tried to pass a car, but he lost control and the car began to slide sideways. It struck a telephone pole near the driver’s door, rotated and flipped onto its roof, authorities said.

The infant was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Investigators said Pierre-Louis was not related to the child. It was unclear Tuesday why the infant was in the car.

Four other people, ages 15 to 19, were also in the car when it crashed. They were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Wootson: 704-358-5046;

Twitter: @CleveWootson

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