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Driver who struck, killed 11-year-old gets suspended sentence, probation

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The driver who struck and killed an 11-year-old Davidson County girl last September pleaded guilty recently to hit and run and received a suspended sentence and 24 months probation.

Emily Nicole Locklear was crossing N.C. 150 after checking her family’s mailbox just after 6 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2010 at the entrance to Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park, which is 5.6 miles northwest of Lexington, North Carolina. She was struck by a 2002 Acura being driven southbound by 19-year-old Chrystal Michelle Luck. Emily later died at Brenner Children’s Hospital.

Luck pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run involving injury or death. She received a 13- to 16-month sentence which was suspended, and was ordered to serve 24 months of probation, the first six months of which are intensive. She was ordered to pay $2,312.19 in restitution.

According to the N.C. Highway Patrol, the car was traveling 59 miles per hour at the point of impact. The speed limit in the area is 55 mph. The child was thrown over 100 feet.

Mailbox-related crashes are not unusual. Among the common factors are that these accidents are more likely to happen to children and the elderly, and they are likely to occur in rural areas.

Commenting after the sentencing, Emily’s mother said she felt the ruling was not fair.

Before sentencing, Luck’s attorney told the judge that she made a bad decision in leaving the scene of the accident, and has struggled with depression since the crash. Court testimony indicated that Luck contacted authorities about an hour after the accident. Her attorney also said that Luck was not texting and was not under the influence when the crash occurred.

Interviewed the day after the crash, Emily’s mother and stepfather described her as a loving child and a good student who wanted to be a cheerleader when she grew up.