Police: Teen mom was drinking before wreck that killed girl, 15, injured infant

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

khou.com

Posted on April 9, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 5:02 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --  Police say an 18-year-old mother who was drinking is responsible for a crash that injured her 11-month-old son and killed a 15-year-old friend.

Sydney McDaniel's car lost control and hit a tree Wednesday night in the 7,600 block of Pence Road.

She is charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless driving, underage drinking, child neglect, marijuana possession and having a fictitious tag on her vehicle.

(Click here to see images from the accident)

Martha Rosales, a sophomore at Rocky River High School, died in the crash.

McDaniel was treated, released and arrested.  At last check her son is still in the hospital. Witnesses say it looked like the boy might have a broken leg.  Another passenger, Toni Ann Williams, was also treated and released.

Juan Ventura says he heard the tires squealing before he saw the car round the corner.

"Oh my God, oh my God, something is going to happen," Ventura said.  "I knew something bad was going to happen."

"It was speeding and suddenly we heard the boom, the crash," said witness Jaime Diaz.

Both ran to help.  Ventura pulled McDaniel's baby from the back seat.  The boy was in a baby seat and covered by Rosales' body, he said.

"I believe she was trying to protect the baby because she was almost on top of the baby with her knees on top of the baby's head," Ventura aid.

Rosales' brother Diego say he tried to get his sister to run errands with him Wednesday night, but she chose to go grocery shopping with McDaniel instead.

He drove down Pence Road, saw the accident, thought he recognized McDaniel's car and started calling Martha.  She never answered.

"I saw the accident but I wasn't sure if it was here. I was like I hope it's not her," he said.

"She was too young," Rosales said.  "I don't understand why they have to take my little sister."

Rosales says McDaniel, as a new mother, should have known better than to be reckless with family and friends in the car.

"She wanted to still act like she didn't have a kid," he said.

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