Crime & Courts

Memorial grows for baby killed in Charlotte wreck

A Charlotte roadside memorial grew Wednesday on Old Statesville Road, the scene of a single-vehicle wreck Tuesday that killed a 4-month-old girl.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said the infant was not in a child seat and was being held by a passenger in the back seat.

On Wednesday morning, several stuffed animals and a number of written messages were left at the scene, a few yards away from a day care center where Sunset Road becomes Old Statesville Road.

A large Mickey Mouse doll was tied to the splintered light pole that the Nissan struck. “Mommy loves you forever” was written on one foot of the doll. “Daddy loves you” was on the other.

Candles burned during the night on the ground at the scene.

The driver, identified by police as Thabiti Ashim Pierre-Louis, 21, of Charlotte, was among five people injured in the wreck and has been charged with a range of traffic citations and crimes: felony death by vehicle, DWI, child seat violation, overcrowding a vehicle, child neglect, reckless driving and possession of marijuana.

He spent the night at Carolinas Medical Center, but was in Mecklenburg County jail on Wednesday in lieu of $154,500 bond and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday morning.

Pierre-Louis had no prior criminal record, according to a search of court records by the Observer.

Investigators said Pierre-Louis was driving a 2000 Nissan Altima southbound on Old Statesville Road about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday when he tried to pass a vehicle in front of him.

Police said Pierre-Louis then lost control of the vehicle, which began sliding sideways, went off the right side of the road and slammed broadside into a power pole.

The pole split in two. The Nissan then flipped onto its roof, police said.

Investigators said the child was thrown from the car, which then landed on the girl. She died at the scene.

Authorities have not released her name yet, and it remains unclear what her relation was to the people in the car.

Four other passengers, ranging in age from 15 to 18, suffered minor injuries.

Police ask that any witnesses to the crash contact detectives at 704-432-2169. Staff writer Cleve R. Wootson Jr. and staff researcher Maria David contributed.

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