Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Woman accused in drag racing deaths pleads guilty

Carlene Atkinson, accused in a deadly 2009 drag racing crash pleaded guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter.  She was sentenced to 16-20 months in jail. 

Atkinson was accused of killing Winthrop professor Cynthia Furr, her 2-year-old daughter and 13-year-old Hunter Holt while racing at high speeds of up to 100 mph on N.C. 49 in April 2009.

Atkinson and Tyler Stasko were racing each other when Stasko's car lost control and caused the deadly crash.  Both were facing second-degree murder charges, Stasko was sentenced to 45-54 months in prison after found guilty of three counts of involuntary manslaughter on December 13, 2011.  Police crash investigators said that Stasko's car was traveling over 85 mph when it lost control.

Atkinson admitted she was racing Stasko and did not call 911 after the crash. Atkinson has not been allowed to drive since she was arrested for the accident.

Holt's mother called Atkinson "heartless" and "soulless" during the hearing on Tuesday.