Closings, delays and early dismissals

Grandmother speaks out after daughter’s charges, granddaughter’s death in Alamance County

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HAW RIVER, N.C. -- Helen Dark is going through perhaps the toughest time of her life.

She's grieving the death of her granddaughter, the serious injury of her two grandsons and the incarceration of her daughter.

All stem from a single car crash Sunday on Trollingwood Road near Haw River. State Troopers said Dark's daughter, 37-year-old Geneva Tabon was driving drunk when her car went down a steep hill. The front seat passenger, Tabon's 16-year-old daughter Dasha Bradshaw, was killed. The two backseat occupants, Tabon's 11 and 14-year-old sons, were airlifted to Duke Hospital in serious condition.

Tabon remains in the Alamance County Detention Center under a $400,000 bond. Records show she had a previous DWI offense in 2008.

"What could I have done to stop this from happening?" Dark said. "What could I have done?"

Dark said her daughter and grandchildren were on the way to get pizza for dinner when the wreck happened. She said her daughter was a good mother who made a terrible mistake.

"She was a great mother, she truly was. She would've done anything for those kids," Dark said.

Dark said the loss of her granddaughter Dasha is unbearable.

"We were connected," she said. "She called me mama, too. She was a real sweet girl. She made you laugh. She was wonderful."

Dark said she was the one who had to break the news to Tabon that Dasha had died.

"She feels so awful," she said. "She just called me crying, saying, 'Mom, not my babies.' I said 'Yeah, your babies.'"

Now, at 56 years old, Dark said she will take over raising the 11 and 14-year-old boys once they are out of the hospital.

"I'm gonna be strong," Dark said. "Because I know they need me."

Dark, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, said she has been through tough times before and will get through this one.

"Because of the Lord. God helps me stay strong. I count on him. Got him right here in my heart. Keeping him with me."