There is nothing more devastating to a parent than the loss of a child. The grieving process that follows such a loss is often lengthy and difficult. Unfortunately, a mom in North Carolina must also cope with criminal charges following the unexpected death of her young child.

The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on a day in June. According to reports, a 47-year-old woman was driving a van on a North Carolina highway when she ran off the road. She reportedly overcorrected, causing the van to exit the left side of the road before the vehicle struck a drainage ditch.

A 4-year-old in the vehicle died in the collision. Two other children suffered minor injuries. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol claims that none of the children in the vehicle had been properly restrained. Though police suspect that drugs may have been a factor in the crash, toxicology reports are incomplete; it is unclear why law enforcement officers suspect drug use.

Criminal charges against the woman — reportedly the mother of all three of the children in the vehicle — as a result of the North Carolina motor vehicle accident, include reckless driving, driving left of center, death by motor vehicle, child restraint violation and no operator’s license. Now the woman is left to make decisions that could likely impact the rest of her and her surviving children’s lives in a time in which she may be overwhelmed with grief. Fortunately, there are experienced professionals who are able to help her make decisions as she navigates through the criminal justice system.