By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
A mother lost her teenage daughter six months ago in a horrific crash and now charges have been filed in her death.
Witnesses said an illegal street race with speeds topping 100 mph along 87th Street near Hillcrest Road turned deadly after one of the cars slammed into a tree. Video from the April 4 wreck shows just how devastating it was – the impact of the car crashing into the tree was so strong, it ripped the car in half and instantly killed 17-year-old Alycia Cornelius.
Police said Cornelius' boyfriend and the driver that night, 19-year-old Dawontay Dwayne Frazier, was injured.
"That was like a nightmare for me. I couldn't believe it. It was a hard nightmare and it still is a nightmare," Arlene Abernathy, the victim's mother, said.
Six months later, Cornelius' mother is still struggling with the loss, but Thursday night she got the news she's been waiting for. Frazier now faces a charge of first-degree involuntary manslaughter.
"I was a little excited and happy that someone's finally getting charged for this. It's been a long, hard six months for me," Abernathy said.
Cornelius' mother knows the new developments won't bring her daughter back, but she hopes it serves as a lesson to other teenagers out there to slow down. In the meantime she hopes her daughter will be remembered for how she lived, not how she died.
"She was good in school, she was friendly, she was happy, she was a joy to be around, it was a joy for me to be her mother," Abernathy said.
Frazier's family is also speaking out about their son who they said is still coping with the consequences of that fateful day.
"He's a good kid, a straight A student. He just graduated in 2011 and he was going to go to the Army," Tonya Bell, Frazier's mother, said.
Besides killing his girlfriend, the crash left Frazier in a coma for two days.
"When he first came out of the coma, the first thing he said was ‘I wish it was me, not her,'" Bell said.
His mother said Frazier is a good man who made a terrible mistake, one that he must now take the responsibility for.
"I'm sad for my son to be in custody, but we have an understanding - when you do the crime, you do the time. We understand that and knew it was coming," Bell said.
Bell said she agrees with Abernathy and too hopes the accident serves as a warning for other teens. She also sends a message to Abernathy, who was still very shaken up when she spoke with KCTV5 Thursday night.
"We're sorry. I hope they accept our apologies, I know it won't bring anybody back, but we are deeply to the core sorry," Bell said to Cornelius' family.
Court documents show a blood test found the presence of prescription drugs in Frazier's system, but his mother said she had no knowledge of that.
Frazier is set to face a judge for the first time on Oct. 25.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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