Sabrina Lynn Burdea
Sabrina Lynn Burdea
Sabrina Lynn Burdea

A Charlotte woman is facing a host of criminal charges, including involuntary manslaughter, after she fled from police in a stolen car that crashed late Wednesday along Interstate 77, killing a female passenger and injuring a 15-year-old juvenile who was also in the car.

The suspect, Sabrina Lynn Burdea, also faces charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, felony fleeing to elude, and reckless driving. Mecklenburg jail records show she had been arrested seven times – including on charges of possessing stolen property – in the last 12 months.

Killed in the crash was 18-year-old Marcia Lawton, who was riding in the front seat.

Burdea, 18, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with serious injuries. A CMPD spokeswoman said she would be arrested upon her release.

The incident began at 11:41 p.m. when a license plate reader registered a hit for a 2008 Ford Fusion that was reported stolen a short time earlier. The license plate reader showed the car was traveling on Sugar Creek Road near Reagan Drive toward North Tryon Street.

Officers who responded to the call spotted the car on North Tryon Street near West Craighead Road. They followed the car and requested a helicopter to track the car from the air.

According to the CMPD spokesman, when officers tried to stop the car, the driver sped off, traveling north on Interstate 77 from Atando Avenue. The driver lost control while trying to exit onto Interstate 85 at Exit 13B. The car left the roadway, struck several trees and rolled down an embankment.

Jessica Wallin, the CMPD spokeswoman, said officers on the ground broke off their pursuit when the car sped away. The helicopter unit, she said, continued to track the vehicle.

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Founder and publisher of Qcitymetro, Glenn has worked at newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Wall Street Journal and The Charlotte Observer.