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Kelly & West News

Drag Racing Leads to Fatal Accident, Lands Woman in Prison

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a 47-year-old female drag racer entered an Alford plea Aug. 28, 2012 to involuntary manslaughter. She was reportedly charged with murder for an April 2009 accident that killed three on Highway 49 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

The defendant, Carlene Atkinson, of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, entered what is called an Alford plea to three counts of involuntary manslaughter, the news story said. An Alford plea means that the defendant does not admit they are guilty, but does agree that there is sufficient evidence for a jury to render a guilty verdict.

The North Carolina judge sentenced her to 32 to 40 months in prison. Atkinson, of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, admitted she was drag racing with Tyler Stasko, 23, sometimes reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour. Stasko hit and killed Winthrop University professor Cynthia Furr and her two-year-old daughter McAllister. A passenger in Stasko’s car, Hunter Holt, 13, also died in the crash.

Holt’s mother said Atkinson was “heartless” and “soulless” during the Aug. 28 hearing, according to WBT Charlotte’s New Talk.

Stasko was sentenced to a minimum of three years and nine months in prison after a jury convicted him in December of involuntary manslaughter. Atkinson previously had been convicted 15 times of speeding. Her driver’s license has been revoked.

Although Atkinson stopped following the crash, she then drove away. She did not call 911 or offer the victims any assistance.


To speak with a Raleigh personal injury lawyer about a serious accident caused by negligence, contact Kelly & West.

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