LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — The district attorney’s office will be upgrading charges for a mother involved in a deadly crash in Lexington.

Amber Whitaker had four kids under the age of 16 in her vehicle. She was watching two of them at the time.

Brandi Nichols has known Whitaker since the seventh grade and let her take care of her children often. Nichols knew Whitaker had some struggles but trusted her to protect her babies. Now, she’s carrying a mother’s guilt, blaming herself for what happened.

“It’s the worst nightmare,” Nichols said. “It’s like I can’t wake up from it.”

The call Nichols received on Tuesday just before 10 a.m. wasn’t one she expected.

“It was the worst call I have ever gotten in my life,” she said.

Her little ones, 8-year-old Jayden and 15-year-old Gabriel, were involved in a car crash.

“I never thought she would put my kids in danger like that or her own,” she said. “Never thought it. It never crossed my mind.”

Court documents FOX8 obtained show the driver, 35-year-old Whitaker, was impaired and had taken methadone. Lexington officers said Whitaker’s speech was slurred, and she nodded off during questioning.

“She was watching them for me because my mom had eye surgery that morning,” Nichols said. “She was supposed to take them to the pool to let them enjoy the water.”

Instead, Nichols’ kids and Whitaker’s children had to be taken to the hospital. Doctors immediately put Jayden, who just celebrated her 8th birthday last week, on life support machines.

“She was already gone,” Nichols said. “At 2:06 a.m., they pronounced her brain dead.”

That news robbed Nichols of the life she was looking forward to with her children.

“These kids didn’t deserve this,” she said. “My daughter doesn’t deserve being dead or my son having a broken collar bone.”

Every day since the tragedy, this mom questions why she let Whitaker care for her kids.

“If I would’ve just kept them home,” she said. “She looked fine. She didn’t act like she was messed up. If she did, I wouldn’t have left my kids.”

It’s a decision Nichols cannot change.

“I just wish I could hold my baby and hear her voice,” she said.

Nichols said the one good thing to come out of this is Jayden is an organ donor. So far, she’s saved the lives of three children. As for Whitaker’s kids, one suffered a spinal cord injury.