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Posted: 4:21 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, 2012
BELMONT, N.C. —
The family of a woman killed in a wreck said her death could have been prevented.
Donna Deitz and former Belmont mayor Kevin Loftin died on their way home from church.
The man police say hit and killed them does not have a license.
SLIDESHOW: Scene of deadly wreck
As Lester Norman stood in court Friday facing nearly a dozen charges, his daughter cried. She later apologized for the deadly crash that police say her father caused.
“I'm sorry. I'm so sorry,” she said. “I know he didn't mean it."
Police said Norman, a convicted felon on parole without a license, sped away from a police checkpoint Wednesday night. Seconds later, they said, he hit a car, killing Loftin and Deitz.
On Friday, Deitz’s sister said she understands police have a job to do, but she thinks checkpoints can prompt offenders to make bad decisions.
“It's an unacceptable collateral damage and the police have to find a smarter way of getting these people off the road,” Ellen Tucker said.
Belmont Police Chief Charlie Franklin said last year, his officers had 411 license checks and all were relatively uneventful.
“We do those to try to apprehend people for drinking (and) driving, and try to stop them before something like this happens,” Franklin said.
Franklin said this was an unfortunate ending, but his officers need to use license checkpoints.
“We (did) it the safest and best way possible,” he said. “That's the way we always do it."
Tucker said she believes her sister would still be alive if Norman didn't have to go through a license checkpoint.
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