A woman who was heavily impaired last fall when the car she was driving careened off Creedmoor Road into a street sign and then a stand of trees, leaving her 12-year-old son fatally injured in the back seat, told a Wake County judge on Thursday she will never forget the day she can’t remember.
Laura Lynne Smith pleaded guilty on Thursday to felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired. She was sentenced to nearly three years in prison and ordered to receive substance abuse treatment.
Smith’s son, 12-year-old Antony Smith, was pronounced dead at the scene of the Oct. 13 wreck.
Antony was a seventh-grader at Ligon Magnet Middle School in Raleigh. He had attended Wake County Public Schools since kindergarten.
Antony had been out of school for more than an hour when the crash took place about 3:45 p.m. The site of the crash, on Creedmoor Road between Sawmill and Lynn roads, is a little more than a mile south of the Smith home on Wellsley Way.
Investigators determined that Smith had been drinking and had a blood alcohol content of 0.32, four times the threshold at which a driver is considered impaired in North Carolina.
Police estimate Smith was going 74 mph when she lost control of her SUV. The speed limit on the section of Creedmoor Road where she was traveling is 45 mph.
Antony was in the back seat at the time of the accident. A woman who called 911 to report the accident said the Suburban was driving “very erratically” and that it ended up in a ravine and was “crushed.”
Laura Smith, a native of Maryland, has a doctorate from N.C. State University and worked in the chemical industry until the birth of her son in 2002.