Second arrest made in street racing crash that killed 6-year-old boy

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — Weeks after a 46-year-old man was arrested and charged in connection with a street racing crash that killed a 6-year-old boy last month in Gaston County, a second person is now facing charges.

On Monday night, 20-year-old Gracie Eaves, of Bessemer City, was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon, reckless driving, speed competition and felony hit and run causing serious injury or death.

She was being held at the Gaston County Jail without bond and was expected to face a judge on Tuesday.

Donnie Ray Cobb, of Kings Mountain, was booked earlier this month. He has been charged with second-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to seriously injure, reckless driving, DWI and speed competition.

He is also being held without bond in the Gaston County Jail.

Troopers said Cobb and Eaves were speeding between 85 mph and 100 mph on U.S. 74 near Sparrow Spring Road on June 26 when the two cars collided, sending Cobb’s Audi across the median where it crashed head-on into a car driven by Santiago Lagunas.

Santiago Lagunas was seriously injured. His son, 6-year-old Liam Lagunas, who was buckled in a car seat, was rushed to the hospital but did not survive.

Cobb was also injured in the collision.

Eaves’ attorney said at her court hearing Tuesday that she couldn’t stop immediately after the crash.

She went to the next stop, turned around in a community and drove back to the scene, the attorney said.

However, family members of Liam Lagunas said she was gone for several minutes. They would not have known that if witnesses hadn’t stepped forward.

“Without those witnesses, we would have had no idea,” said Lagunas’ attorney, Carrie O’Brien.

“Without those witnesses, we would have had no idea,” said the Lagunas’ attorney, Carrie O’Brien.

The attorney asked for more witnesses to come forward.

“We are going to seek justice criminally and civilly,” she said.

Eaves was given a $100,000 bond, which was five times more than what the defense attorney asked for. If Eaves makes bond, she will be required to wear a GPS monitor until the trial begins.

Family members said the 6-year-old was headed to his father’s home to play with his siblings when the crash happened.

Liam’s parents said he was outgoing and kind, and loved taekwando, soccer and swimming.

Troopers said the pair never had time to react to the cars coming the other way.

“One bad decision can cost more than just your life,” NCSHP Trooper Ray Pierce said. “It can hurt someone else.”


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