Wreck kills child; mother to face charges

By: Lynnsey Gardner
By: Lynnsey Gardner

August 17, 2006

What started out as a family trip turned into a family tragedy...and the story gets even worse after charges are filed.

A young boy died in a tragic accident Thursday in North Augusta. His mother was behind the wheel, and she will face charges in the death of her son.

It was a family road trip cut short before it even began.

Angela Heggie was driving a Ford Taurus on the Palmetto Parkway. She and five relatives, including her son, were leaving Augusta for a family reunion in Maryland.

The trip ended at the intersection with Aiken-Augusta Highway.

Officers say Heggie ran a red light and hit a 16-passenger van around eight o'clock in the morning.

Her son, Deandre Cedric Williams, was pronounced dead on the scene.

He was not wearing a seatbelt.

Deandre had celebrated his eleventh birthday just two weeks ago.

Lt. Tim Pearson responded to the scene-- where the bus driver, though not at fault, was badly shaken.

"It's a terrible thing to have to look at, knowing that you're involved in a collision where a child has been killed," Lt. Pearson said.

Lt. Pearson says the loss of a child's life is hard on everyone--including deputies.

"Just about every officer that was there was a parent, so this is tough on them."

Three adults and two children traveling in the car were transported to MCG. Four were discharged by mid-afternoon.

17-month-old Isaiah Heggie suffered minor injuries and is listed in good condition.

And even though the mother is facing charges, Lt. Pearson says the wounds from this accident may never heal.

"This is going to be a traumatic experience for them, putting aside the aches and pains they might have physically, but emotionally this will last a lifetime I'm sure."

And he reminds us all that accidents like this one can be prevented.

"Slow down, watch for traffic signals, and don't be in such a hurry," he says. "Because it only takes one simple mistake to cost someone their life. In this case, a child."

Angela Heggie is charged with disregarding a traffic signal, and violation of a seatbelt law--both misdemeanors.

Heggie had her learner's permit, but not her driver's license, so she also faces a misdemeanor charge of violating a beginner's permit restriction.

Under South Carolina law, permit drivers must have a licensed 21 year old in the passenger seat. Her mother Inez did not have her license.

Inez also faces a misdemeanor charge of allowing an unlicensed driver to drive.

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