DUI Suspect Accused of Deadly Crash Denied Bond

The dad had stopped to change a tire when a tragedy happened.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The woman accused of driving drunk and hitting and killing the parents of a baby boy off of I-20 was denied bond Thursday.

Clarise Antonia Payano, 21, of North Carolina wiped away tears as she appeared in court.

During the bond hearing, state officials asked the judge to deny bond to Payano saying “she’s a danger to the community.”

The judge granted their request.

Payano is accused of driving drunk and killing two people.

“I'm very sorry. My condolences go out to all of you guys and I'm sorry that the lives were taken on behalf of my family,” Payano’s brother John Kennedy said. 

Kennedy said his sister is not a bad person. He said she was in her third year at South University. He begs the victims' family for forgiveness.

“I just hope that in some way in your hearts you can forgive her because I can guarantee you it was not purposeful and she did not mean it,” Kennedy explained passionately.

The Richland County Coroner reports Kekima Lashaun Alexander, 39, of Bronx, NY, was changing the right rear tire of a car on the side of I-20 early Thursday morning when he was hit.

Latoya Nicole Garcia,31, or Orangeburg and their baby were inside the car when troopers say they were hit by Payano’s car as well.

The parents were both killed but their baby boy survived with minor injuries.

The collision happened around 1:30 a.m. in the westbound lanes of I-20 near Farrow Road and Wilson Boulevard. 

Payano is charged with two counts of felony DUI resulting in death, driving without a license and simple possession of marijuana charges.

Payano has been denied bond. 

Officials say the baby boy was in a car seat during the crash and is now with family.

State Highway Patrol is investigating.

“It’s disheartening when we know that an innocent person lost their life at the hands of somebody who could’ve made a good decision,” Lance Corporal David Jones with the State Highway Patrol said. “Not only has two people lost their life but there's a mother and father whose daughter in prison now or who is in jail.”

Jones said he wants to remind motorists to not get behind the wheel of a car impaired.

Jones said the charge of felony DUI could equal up to 25 years behind bars.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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