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WNC leaders push for change to death by vehicle law

Currently, if a person is driving on a revoked license for impaired driving and kills someone, he or she faces a charge of misdemeanor death by vehicle. The maximum prison sentence allowed is 150 days. Lawmakers are weighing whether to raise the crime from a misdemeanor to a class F felony, carrying a minimum active term of not less than 12 months in prison.

Kimberly Carnes, 43, suffered mortal injuries in a Feb. 22, 2017, head-on collision in Macon County as she drove from home to work. Scott Marchant, 56, also a Macon County resident, crossed the two-lane center line on N.C. 28 and smashed into Carnes’ car.

 Sens. Chuck Edwards, R-Flat Rock, and Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, are among the bill’s sponsors.


“The Senate Judiciary Committee chairs and members are still considering the bill and reviewing the case to determine the best solution,” Edwards said Thursday of the legislation’s progress through the committee.

The N.C. General Assembly has adjourned for the year and the bill has not passed. However, after the 2020 General Election, a new General Assembly will be sworn in and the legislation can be reconsidered during a new session.