published Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Dalton woman charged in death of friend after DUI

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    Alicia Chandler, charged with vehicular homicide in Dalton.

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A Dalton, Ga., woman has been charged with vehicular homicide after a Whitfield County grand jury stated she was intoxicated at the wheel when a near-wreck took her friend's life.

Alicia Marie Chandler, 28, has been charged with two counts of felony first-degree homicide by vehicle, DUI and reckless driving.

"Investigators had conducted blood tests after the accident and after they came back it was clear alcohol was involved," Whitfield County District Attorney Kermit McManus said.

Chandler was driving back from a bar in downtown Dalton in the early hours of Sept. 1 when her car hit a curb and veered across Chattanooga Avenue, McManus said.

Chandler overcorrected, ejecting 26-year-old Elizabeth Burchfield -- who was not wearing a seat belt -- through the car window, officials said.

After Burchfield was thrown, Chandler and two men in the car got out of the vehicle to search for Burchfield, then flagged down a Dalton Police Department officer who was on patrol, McManus said.

Burchfield, a mother of two, died on the way to the hospital, according to police.

Chandler was arrested last week and freed from the Whitfield County Jail on Monday on a $5,000 bond, jail officials said. Her arraignment date has not been set.

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