Chandler Michael Kania (inset) and a North Carolina Department of Transportation image of the crash that killed Darlene McGee, 46; her best friend, Felecia Harris, 49; and Harris’ 6-year-old granddaughter, Jahnice Beard.
WXII12 screenshot

An underage University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student reportedly drank at two local bars before getting behind the wheel and driving the wrong way on the interstate, causing a head-on collision that left three people dead, authorities said.

Chandler Michael Kania has been charged with second-degree murder in the July 19 accident on Interstate 85 that killed Darlene McGee, 46; her best friend, Felecia Harris, 49; and Harris' 6-year-old granddaughter, Jahnice Beard. McGee and Harris lived in Charlotte, N.C.; Jahnice was from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jahnia King, Harris' 9-year-old daughter, survived the accident and was released from the hospital on Thursday, the New York Daily News reports.

Kania's family has already posted the 20-year-old's $1 million bail.

"It's so sad because he's able to go home; his mother and father's able to kiss him; his cousins, everyone can come over and tell them how much they love him. We will never be able to do that with Darlene again," McGee's sister-in-law Dionne McGee told the Daily News.

Kania reportedly fought off friends who tried to stop him from driving after a night of drinking at two Chapel Hill bars, authorities said. Kania reportedly had someone else's ID that night, and he and a friend were not carded at the bar, although their IDs were reportedly checked at the door.


According to WRAL, Kania is charged with "three counts of second-degree murder, three counts of felony death by motor vehicle, one count of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, driving the wrong way on an interstate, careless and reckless driving, driving after consuming alcohol as a minor, possession of alcohol by a minor and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle."

After the crash, Kania allegedly handed police officers the ID of a 21-year-old frat brother, and a box of beer was found inside his car.

Kania's attorney Wade Smith told the news station that the first step is getting Kania into a rehab facility "where he can be cared for, so he can answer these charges and explain how in the world such a terrible thing happened."


"He was driving the wrong way, going north in the southbound lanes. No way anybody can't say that happened," Smith told WRAL. "It will be our duty to sort through the charges and make sure a just result is reached. It's certainly not a situation we would say something terrible didn't happen. It certainly appears to be his fault."

Read more at the New York Daily News and WRAL.