DWI suspect faces judge for wreck that killed 6-year-old daughter

Alanna Garris died in Craven County crash

DWI suspect faces judge for wreck that killed daughter

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Amber Sandvig, the woman charged with DWI in a wreck that killed her 6-year-old daughter, appeared in court Monday morning.

At the courthouse in New Bern, the 24-year-old suspect was told that her bond would remain at $2 million. Sandvig's father watched from the first row as the judge read her charges: one count of felony death by motor vehicle, three counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle, and two counts of felony child abuse, in addition to DWI.

"She looks to me like she's in shock. I mean, I certainly would be. There's a lot of things going on in her head right now," said Sandvig's father, Michael.

Sandvig was arrested on March 28. Investigators said the suspect was driving while intoxicated when she crashed her car head-on into an SUV on Brices Creek Rd. in Craven County. The wreck happened on Feb. 22. Sandvig's 6-year-old daughter, Alanna, died in the accident; her 2-year-old son, "Blaze," was injured.

A toxicology report showed oxycodone was in Sandvig's system at the time of the crash. According to a news release, investigators also found drug paraphernalia in her car and on her person.

If convicted of felony death by motor vehicle, she could get up to nine years in prison, according to District Attorney Scott Thomas. That sentence does not include the other charges.

According to Alan Garris, the father of Sandvig's children, the suspect has a history of prescription drug abuse. Sandvig was also charged with DWI in 2012, after an accident with her 2-year-old son in the car. Garris said he tried to warn Child Protective Services of Sandvig's lifestyle.

"She's had her chances to change, but she hasn't," Garris said of Sandvig.

Sandvig was released from the hospital earlier in March, but Garris said the only communication he's had with her was in a courtroom and during one phone call after Alanna's funeral.

"I just told her not to call me and said it should have been her instead of my little princess," Garris said. "She didn't really say sorry."

Garris' and Sandvig's 2-year-old son was taken into foster care after the wreck. A court document listed abuse, neglect, and dependency as the reasons for the change in custody.


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