Prominent Gastonia businessman Julius Dalpiaz was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor death by vehicle for his role in the Monday accident that claimed the lives of Samantha Thomas, 34, and her unborn child.
Donna Lahser, spokeswoman for Gastonia police, said Dalpiaz was at a stop sign at South Vance Street and tried to turn left to go east on West Garrison Boulevard.
Thomas, with her 11-month-old son and her brother-in-law, Sherman Thomas, 61, in the car, slammed on the brakes as Dalpiaz turned at 14 miles per hour, authorities said. She was going near the posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour.
Police said Thomas’s Honda Civic left 28.5 feet of skid marks before the crash.
Thomas died of her injuries at a hospital in Gastonia.
Dalpiaz suffered a fractured pelvis.
Samantha Thomas and Sherman Thomas weren’t wearing seatbelts, authorities said.
Thomas’s son, who was in a child safety seat, suffered minor injuries, according to the Shelby Star.