CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A driver who took her eyes off the road to look for a pack of cigarettes is now charged with involuntary manslaughter, according to police. Investigators say Leah Walton told them she reached into her purse to get the cigarettes, took her eyes off the road briefly and then drove her car onto a sidewalk Sunday morning.
Police say Walton’s car crossed the center line of Craig Avenue and went over the curb where Susan Karabulut and Lisa McTe–both nurses at the White Oak Manor nursing home– were standing. Karabulut was dragged underneath the car and died.
McTe is listed in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center.
Karabulut’s mother Isabel Fabrizio said Karabulut was a dedicated nurse, and was likely taking a break on the sidewalk.
She sobbed as she talked with NewsChannel 36 about her youngest daughter, “All I keep saying is hope that she knows that I loved her. That was my baby, and it shouldn’t have been my baby. It should have been me. I’ve lived my life, she has a daughter to raise.”
Fabrizio says Karabulut’s daughter Isabel is her life, and she’s thankful Isabel had just returned from visiting family in New York on Thursday. “At least she got to see her daughter for a few days before this happened.”
Walton is also charged with reckless driving, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphanelia, not having liability insurance and having expired registration. She is out of jail on bond, but was not home when NewsChannel 36 stopped by for comment.