A 17-year-old Myers Park High senior faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving after the speeding SUV she was driving hit a tree on Colony Road in the SouthPark area, killing a 16-year-old passenger.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police charged Abigail McGaha of Charlotte, a goalie on her high school lacrosse team, after the wreck that took place just after midnight Sunday in the 5000 block of Colony Road near Sharon View Road.
Earlier Tuesday, McGaha posted a $125,000 bond and was released from the Mecklenburg County Jail. A Nov. 16 probable cause hearing was set in District Court Tuesday afternoon.
CMPD said Alexander Mundt, a high school student from New Mexico, was in the back seat when McGaha lost control of a Toyota Highlander she was driving. Mundt, 16, died a half hour later at the scene, police said.
Myers Park High Principal Mark Bosco said Mundt was McGaha’s friend and was visiting her in Charlotte.
McGaha and another passenger, Hannah Greene, 17, were taken to Carolinas Medical Center with minor injuries. McGaha was released Monday morning and charged.
Police said the vehicle was moving at a high speed when it left the road. McGaha overcorrected by steering the SUV back to the left, and her vehicle slid across the northbound lanes on Colony Road. The SUV left the street again before striking the tree.
Bosco said the school had counselors ready to see students upset by the wreck, but few students used them. “You never know how kids will process things,” Bosco said. “We’re doing our best to respond to their needs, while being respectful to the students in the accident and to Alex’s family.”
He said the school spends a month preaching to students to not drink and text while driving – but not speeding. “You forget how speeding is such a factor in these accidents,” Bosco said. “We try to prepare students to navigate the high school years. You think you’re making headway and out of left field this comes, and you realize it’s hard to cover everything they face.”
He said the school likely will add the dangers speeding to drinking and texting.
Sunday’s wreck took place on the same stretch of Colony Road where Myers Park High student Alex Ervin died in 2007 after the speeding car in which he was a passenger hit a curb and flew into a tree.
There have been 43 crashes at Colony and Sharon View roads since 2008, said Linda Durrett, a spokeswoman for Charlotte Department of Transportation.
These include 18 left turns, 16 rear end, and 9 other assorted crash types. Twenty-one of the 43 crashes involved injury while 22 were property damage only.
Nine requests have been made to CDOT since 2010 for some type of service at this location, including a 2015 request to for lane configuration to help move traffic, Durrett said.
CDOT had not received the police report for the recent fatal crash, Durrett said. Once it is received, CDOT will perform a field investigation to confirm the details surrounding the crash, Durrett said.
After Ervin died, his parents launched a campaign to get teenagers to slow down. They took remnants of the car to high schools to show students what speed can do. They talked to students and printed bumper stickers with this urgent message: “Slow Down for Alex.”
Now there are two Alexes to slow down for.