Chandler Kania pleads guilty in deadly wrong-way crash

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Chandler Kania (WTVD)

A plea deal was reached Monday in the case against a former UNC Chapel Hill student who was charged in connection with fatal wrong-way crash that claimed the lives of three people last year.

Chandler Kania pleaded guilty to some of the charges he was facing - including three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, felony serious injury by motor vehicle and driving while impaired - in connection with the July 18, 2015 crash during a pretrial motions hearing Monday morning in an Orange County courtroom.

Kania pleaded not guilty to three counts of second degree murder and reckless driving, which he will continue to go to trial for. Following the plea deal, prosecutors presented pretrial motions to the judge.

An Orange County grand jury had indicted the then-20-year-old last year on three second-degree murder charges, three counts of felony death by a motor vehicle and one count of felony serious injury by a motor vehicle. He was also charged with obtaining alcohol with a false driver's license.

PHOTOS: I-85 crash

Darlene McGee, 46, of Charlotte, her friend Felecia Harris, 49, of Charlotte, and Harris' granddaughter Jahnice Beard, 6, of Brooklyn, New York, were traveling home when their vehicle collided with a Jeep driven by Kania, who admitted Monday to driving while impaired. Kania was headed northbound on Interstate 85 in the southbound lane at Exit 163. Harris' daughter, Jahnia King, 9, was also seriously hurt in the crash.

Darlene McGee, Felecia Harris and Jahnice Beard

Investigators said Kania purchased and consumed alcohol and used marijuana before driving the wrong way down the interstate.

Prosecutors said Kania gave troopers someone else's ID when asked for identification. Officers also noted there was an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.

Some Chapel Hill bars were fined and had their licenses suspended for allegedly serving the underage student.

Kania, who is from Asheboro, was released from jail after his family posted a $1 million bond. Kania could face several years in prison.

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