"He had a different way of looking at the land, the trouble at hand or any circumstance that might just come along .... and he measured his life in cedar posts and miles of barbed wire fence”.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Death and Blue Lights Sobering Contrast to High End Awards Event OneBlock Away
Saturday night found 200 of Charlotte's beautiful people gathering to honor... well Charlotte's other beautiful people.
At 7:00 p.m. Saturday the 2nd annual Mosaic Awards were handed out to three supporters of The Behailu Academy.
Dan Clodfelter, Bea Thompson and Casey Crawford were honored by academy founder and former Carolina Panthers back office staffer Deedee Mills.
Just a block away Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officers were sorting through a crime scene that left two young women dead and a young man charged with crimes that if convicted could send him to prison for the next 20 years.
The stark contrast wasn't missed by the many guests who had to detour around the maze of blue lights, CMPD cruisers, Medic and Charlotte Fire vehicles that had responded to the crash of the stolen car on Wilkinson Boulevard shortly before the event began.
The night's event was held at the Carolina Golf Club. Founded nearly 100 years ago at a time when the area was considered out in the country, the hilly farmland on the outskirts of Charlotte made the perfect location for a new golf course. Today the view of the Bank of America tower from the perfectly maintained club house lawn offers no hint of the struggling West Charlotte community that surrounds the 18 hole Donald Ross designed course.
It is the same community and the same youth of Charlotte that The Behailu Academy seeks to serve and help chart a course in life that provides avoidance of the scene that unfolded around the corner from the club house. The gathering of gentlemen in jackets, ladies in heels and short skirts each wearing party rings, with red, blue and yellow flashing lights that oddly echoed the accident scene on the Wilkinson Blvd, was a great success raising money for the innovated arts academy.
The aftermath of the crash was still visible as a light rain began to fall around 9:30 and the patrons of The Behailu Academy event headed home. The rain slick streets reflecting the lights of a lone wrecker removing the crumpled car from the street.
Late Sunday CMPD released the names of the victims, as 22-year-old Sarah Love who died at the scene and Jennifer Taggart, 17 who died Sunday night of her injuries.
The driver Kenneth Goggins remains in the Mecklenburg County Jail. Goggins has numerous prior convections on drugs and weapons charges including armed robbery.
According to CMPD, detectives received a license plate reader hit on a stolen 2008 gold Kia Rio at about 6:30 p.m. on Central Avenue. CMPD was able to use traffic cameras to monitor the Rio’s movements and the Aviation Unit helicopter was deployed.
A CMPD Officer attempted to stop the car but the driver elected to the flee. The Officer broke off the pursuit several blocks before the accident due to traffic in the area and the fact that CMPD's Snoopy II helo was over head.
Behailu Academy is an arts based initiative helping kids in middle and high school break out of the cycle of poverty, crime, drugs and bad choices.