Driver charged with DWI after hitting, killing 2 people in Gaston County

GASTONIA, N.C. — A driver has been charged with DWI after police said she hit and killed two people in Gaston County early Sunday morning.

Officials said 24-year-old Katelyn Abernathy was charged with two counts of death by motor vehicle, felony hit-and-run causing serious injury or death, failure to maintain lane control, DWI and expired registration plate/card.

The crash happened just after 2 a.m. along East Long Avenue in Gastonia.

Police said it appears Abernathy drove up on the sidewalk, hitting 61-year-old Charles Love and 31-year-old Keytiada Cooke.

Police said Abernathy got out of her car, looked at both victims and drove away.

Love died at the scene and Cooke was taken to the hospital, but later died from her injuries, according to authorities.

"We need justice for our sister," said Jet Leach, Cooke’s sister.

Keytiada Cooke had four daughters who are between 5 and 14 years old.

The mother's siblings and Cooke's heartbroken mother, Arnetta Cooke, were in the courtroom.

“She took a piece of my heart,” Arnetta Cooke said.

Charles Love was a lung cancer survivor.

"We all make mistakes, but you have to be accountable for your mistakes," said Lovette Love, Charles Love’s sister-in-law.

They said it is difficult to believe that Abernathy simply made a mistake

The Cooke family said doctors told them they may have been able to save her if she had gotten to the hospital a little sooner.

"If, by any chance, she would have called 911 at the time of the accident, my sister probably would have made it," Leach said.

Instead, police said Abernathy drove to her home nine minutes away.

A witness followed her and called 911, and police found Abernathy and her damaged car.

They said she admitted to drinking, said she was going to turn herself in.

She said she didn’t mean to hit the two pedestrians.

The victims’ families saw Abernathy in court.

"Like where is the remorse?" Lovette Love said.

Abernathy’s bail is $1 million.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with for more information.

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