New charge filed against UNC student involved in triple-fatal crash

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Monday, August 24, 2015
Chandler Kania
Chandler Kania in a booking photo.
image courtesy Orange County Sheriff's Office

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A new charge has been filed against the 20-year-old UNC student accused of causing a fatal Orange County crash that claimed the lives of three people in July.

Chandler Kania, from Asheboro, has been charged in Orange County with obtaining alcohol with a false driver's license. Kania has already been charged with 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.

Kania was released from jail after his family posted a $1 million bond.

Chandler Kania appears in an Orange County Court Thursday, July 23, 2015.

Investigators say Kania purchased and consumed alcohol before driving the wrong way down Interstate 85. In court in July, prosecutors said Kania gave troopers someone else's ID when he was pulled over that showed he was 21 years old.

Search warrants released allege Kania purchased and consumed alcohol at two Chapel Hill businesses: La Residence and He's Not Here.

As part of ALE's investigation in to the crash, agents cited John Edward Gualtieri, a manager and bartender at La Residence restaurant, for serving alcohol to a customer under the age of 21. It's unclear whether Gualtieri served alcohol to Kania. Gualtieri is the son of the restaurant's owner.

If convicted on all charges, Kania faces 40 to 50 years in prison.

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 back home when their vehicle collided with a Jeep driven by Kania, who is suspected of driving drunk. Kania was headed northbound on Interstate 85 in the southbound lane at Exit 163.

Darlene McGee, Felecia Harris and Jahnice Beard
images courtesy family

Harris' daughter, Jahnia King, 9, was also seriously hurt in the crash. She has since been released from the hospital.

Attorneys for Kania released a statement on behalf of the Kania family after the crash: "The Kania family is absolutely devastated about this tragedy. Their hearts, prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families. Chandler is fully cooperating with law enforcement and will continue to do so."

McGee, Harris and the two children were returning from a family reunion in Virginia when the crash occurred.

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