• Taxi driver charged with manslaughter after deadly crash; passenger says its not enough

    By: Tina Terry

    Updated:

    ALBEMARLE, N.C. - A man said he and his girlfriend were riding home in a taxi in Albemarle on Feb. 4 when the driver, David Hiatt,  crashed while racing another car.

    The wreck on Highway 138 killed Charles Lamb’s girlfriend, Mandy, and left him bruised and battered.

    “She was my life. Now my life's gone,” Lamb told Channel 9.

    [At least 1 dead in Albemarle multi-car wreck, troopers say]

    Hiatt was later charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving, but Lamb said that is not enough.

    "It says on the card, ‘I'll get you home safely,’” Lamb said. “How did that work out? She's not home safe."

    A legal expert said a higher charge, such as second-degree murder, would require proof that Hiatt acted with malice.

    "I'm shocked that that's all he's going to get, and we are going to go talk to the DA,” Lamb said.

    Lamb told Channel 9 they were on their way home when Hiatt started racing with a black and red car, reaching speeds 80 and 100 mph.

    "We told him to slow down, somebody is gone get hurt,” Lamb said. “He didn't slow down."

    Lamb said Hiatt lost control on a curve, and Mandy and he went flying out of the car.

    "I went to her and she was still warm when I touched her,” Lamb said. “I took my jacket off and covered her up. That’s the only respectable thing a person would do."

    He said the car was mangled, and he had to get staples in his head.

    Hiatt owns D&D Transportation, but there is no record of the company, according to state and local records.

    Lamb said he now wants justice for Mandy’s death.

    “No excuse, none, 'cause we did tell him to slow down,” Lamb said. "I want the right thing done, him charged.”

    The North Carolina Highway Patrol wouldn’t confirm that the wreck was precipitated by a race.

    Troopers only said speed was involved.

    A friend of the driver told Channel 9 he is alive and recovering in the hospital.

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