Mother of 1-year-old swept away by Florence flood waters faces criminal charges

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A woman whose 1-year-old son was killed after being swept away in floodwaters during Hurricane Florence has been charged in the case. 

Dazia Ideah Lee, 20, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving on a closed/unopened highway in connection to the death of her son Kaiden Lee Welch, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office says after an exhaustive investigation, they found that the Charlotte mother drove onto a NC 218, which was reportedly barricaded that night, resulting in the drowning death of Kaiden. 

RELATED: Body of 1-year-old swept up in flood waters found in Union County

“The tragic death of this child and the circumstances surrounding this case are heartbreaking. We continue to pray for all those suffering as a result of this child’s death. However, after a very thorough investigation and taking all facts into consideration and applying the law, we feel that these charges are appropriate," Sheriff Eddie Cathey said. 

Around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16 emergency responders were called to the 7700 block of NC 218 East in New Salem after Kaiden was swept away by swift moving water from Richardson Creek on N.C. 218.

Authorities said her vehicle left the roadway and came to rest among a group of trees. She managed to free herself and Kaiden, who was in a car seat, but lost her grip on him in the rushing water.His body was recovered  on Sept. 17. 

Dazia was served with a criminal summons by the Sheriff's Office, and is due in court on Nov. 20.