South American woman killed in Charlotte wreck

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A young woman with a history of drunken driving convictions has been charged in the death of an elderly South American woman who was visiting her family in the United States.

Kelly Ann Conklin, 23, of Clover, South Carolina, is charged with felony death by motor vehicle, felony serious injury by vehicle, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and marijuana possession.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police told local news outlets that Conklin’s car crossed a grass median on a Charlotte street early Saturday and struck a car carrying the family of Cecelia Buitrago de Gonzalez, 79, of Bogota, Colombia. The elderly woman was killed and two others remained hospitalized on Tuesday.

It was not clear Tuesday whether Conklin has an attorney to defend her against the new charges.

Conklin was placed on probation and ordered to perform community service after being convicted of driving while intoxicated in Mecklenburg County in July 2014. She was ordered to pay a fine after another driving under the influence conviction, in York County, South Carolina, in October 2014.

Buitrago’s son-in-law, Farshad Hosseini, remains hospitalized with serious injuries. Another family member said Hosseini has had three surgeries and is scheduled for a fourth.

Hosseini’s wife, Sonia Rocio Gonzalez, also remains in the hospital. She said her mother worked for more than 25 years as a Sears store manager in Bogota and was known for taking Christmas gifts to children in an orphanage and organizing a community food program.

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