DEARING, Ga. (WJBF) – A family is torn after a young girl dies from a crash with two other children inside. Her older sister now faces felony charges including vehicular homicide. A cousin told NewsChannel 6 she and other relatives want Delaney Paige Vanetten jailed. The 27-year-old faces charges of driving under the influence with three children, her sisters and her son, in that car. And one of them did not make it out of this alive.
“We are all very angry,” LeeAnn Daugherty, a cousin, said.
A devastating story out of Dearing. LeeAnn Daugherty and her family came to NewsChannel 6 after the death of 5-year-old Averie Miles.
“They called her firecracker because she was spunky and full of life and of course, she had red hair. She loved her sister. They were like best friends. They were everything to each other,” she remembered.
Daugherty said Averie, her 7-year-old sister Brileigh and their 3-year-old nephew Raiden Vanetten were in the car with Delaney Paige Vanetten on October 11. She told her sisters that they were all going to the laundromat, the store and back home with her son. But a police report shows Vanetten lost control of the Nissan Frontier she was driving. Authorities said she was driving on Randall Road in Dearing. She hit the shoulder of the road during a curve, crossed the center lane, and began spinning before hitting a tree and rolling over. The report also said none of the children wearing seatbelts.
“She was irresponsible,” Daugherty stated. “She decided to drink and have five empty liquor bottles in the car and not put them in a seat belt and even asked for them to go with her.”
A DPS report states Vanetten was an impaired and intoxicated driver who had alcohol on her breath and her speech was slurred. Her breath test was .170, which is three times the legal limit. It also said her eyes were bloodshot and watery. Vanetten told authorities on October 11 that she “had a couple of shots and left to get her boyfriend clothes.” She said she was headed back home when her steering locked up and she lost control. Police also noted there were four open Fireball containers in the car with two being in Vanetten’s purse.
Averie was pulled from the car and rushed to Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Family said she had several injuries including major skull fracture and intestine damage. Nine days later she died of brain damage on October 20.
“We just want to make sure she actually does time. She basically is the reason Averie is dead,” said Daugherty.
Family added, Vanetten and the kids were one mile from their home when the crash happened.
Along with felony vehicular homicide, Vanetten faces several other charges including DUI child endangerment for each kid and herself, open container and seat belt violations and failure to maintain lane.