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Second driver charged in head-on speed racing crash that killed 6-year-old boy in Gaston Co.

Witnesses said the two cars were going at “terrible speeds”.
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 9:30 AM EDT
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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A second driver has been charged for a head-on speed racing car crash that left a 6-year-old boy dead in Gaston County in June.

Gracie Eaves turned herself in and faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to cause serious injury, reckless driving and wanton disregard, speed competition and felony hit/run resulting in serious injury or death. Her bond is being held at this time.

Gracie Eaves turned herself in and faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault with a...
Gracie Eaves turned herself in and faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to cause serious injury, reckless driving and wanton disregard, speed competition and felony hit/run resulting in serious injury or death.(Gaston County Sheriff's Office)

Officials say 6-year-old Liam Lagunas died hours after the car he was in was struck head-on by a car that lost control while racing in Gaston County.

N.C. Highway Patrol said the crash happened shortly before 9:30 p.m. June 26 on U.S. 74 near Sparrow Springs Road.

Troopers said two cars were racing, traveling between 90 and 100 mph, when one of the cars lost control, crashed through the median and hit a car traveling the opposite direction head-on.

Witnesses said the two cars were going at “terrible speeds” when they collided, sending the first suspect’s car over the median and into the car Liam was in.

Liam was taken to the hospital where he died. His father, Santiago, was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Troopers said the driver of the speeding car involved in the wreck, later identified as Donnie Ray Cobb, was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Following his release from the hospital, troopers arrested Cobb on July 15 and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to cause serious injury, reckless driving to endanger, driving while impaired, speed competition and second-degree murder.

WBTV briefly talked with Liam’s father who was also involved in the crash. He says he not only wants justice for his son but also for himself. Santiago Lagunas is still suffering from injuries sustained in the crash. He is currently wearing a neck brace and walking with a walker. In court today, he was wheeled in with a wheelchair. He is dealing with physical and emotional pain.

Liam Lagunas’ funeral was held on July 8 at Flint Groves Baptist Church on East Ozark Avenue in Gastonia.

A GoFundMe page has been created to provide financial assistance to Lagunas’ family.

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