North Carolina

Troopers: Mother was on drugs during NC crash that killed 7-year-old daughter

Photo Courtesy: WRAL

LILLINGTON, N.C. — Authorities say a 7-year-old girl was ejected and killed during a single-vehicle crash in North Carolina.

News outlets report that 42-year-old Theresa Peterson is charged in the wreck that killed her daughter, Aniyah Peterson. She appeared in court Friday.

They say Theresa Peterson had been on drugs while driving and now she's charged with several offenses including driving without a valid license and without a child restraint.

[CMPD: Impaired driver who ran red light charged in deadly crash]

Investigators say the crash could have been avoided if Peterson had not been on drugs or had buckled her daughter into the family's SUV with a seatbelt.

"We're going to look into that," said Trooper Eric Mellott. "She was definitely impaired, and impairment could cause a person to run to the right, but we're not going to stop there."

The State Highway Patrol says Peterson overcorrected when her van veered off-road and it struck a ditch and flipped Thursday evening near Lillington.

Peterson's 14-year-old twins who were also in the vehicle weren't injured. An adult passenger was, but officials didn't know how his condition.

Trooper Eric Mellott says blood tests showed Peterson was impaired. It's unclear if she has a lawyer who could comment.