‘I reached over and touched her stomach and she wasn’t breathing’: Siblings recall NC DWI crash that killed grandmother, friend


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN.WBTW) –  A brother and sister who survived a drunk driving crash that killed their grandmother and friend spoke with News13’s sister station CBS 17 about the collision.

Both Hailey Wagner, 15, and her brother Stephen, 14, are in good spirits despite major injuries.

Hailey Wagner suffered a broken neck in the collision. Her brother has deep bruises, fractured bones and major cuts.

The siblings shared their story with CBS 17 in hopes of saving lives.  

Their grandmother Marjory Wagner Regan, 65, was driving the teens home from a movie when a Toyota slammed into their van at 90 mph on Wilsons Mills Road at M. Durwood Stephenson Highway near Smithfield, North Carolina.

Regan was killed and the Wagner’s close friend Ethan Handly, 15, suffered fatal injuries.

He died Tuesday morning.

Smithfield police said Felix Antonio Juarez-Antunez was driving while impaired and traveling at 110 mph just before he slammed into the van.  

Hailey Wagner was seriously injured in a crash that killed her grandmother in Smithfield (Photo: Terrence Jones Photography)

“There is no good outcome for drinking and driving. Either you’re drunk and you look like an idiot in front of all your friends or you’re driving while drunk. It’s not a good combo. You’re going to do something wrong,” explained Stephen Wagner from his hospital bed.  

Hailey Wagner is the newly crowned Miss Garner’s Outstanding Teen.

She won the pageant at the beginning of November. 

“I was definitely thinking about switching my platform to just getting the word out about drunk driving and having people understand what the outcome is from it, once you make that bad decision,” said Hailey Wagner.

Stephen Wagner said the hardest part has been replaying the moments after the crash.

“I remember waking up the first time after we got hit and looking to my left to see my grandma. The whole chair had come loose. She was still seat belted in. I reached over and touched her stomach and she wasn’t breathing,” said Stephen Wagner.

Ethan Handly (Family photo)

Hailey Wagner told CBS 17 Ethan had just asked her to be his girlfriend before the crash.

“So I got to date Ethan for a whole 10 minutes. So I guess that was the best 10 minutes ever,” she said.

Both said their grandma loved everyone.

“Whether that was bringing snacks to everybody or you’re at a football game,” said Stephen. “She waits until the last person leaves the game to make sure they don’t need a ride home. That was just my grandma.”

Stephen Wagner

Ethan made everyone laugh. Although he’s gone, his humor still warmed their hearts through photos and videos.

As the two teens remain in their hospital beds, they shared their story in hopes that their loss will be a lesson to others.

“I don’t think that the person that hit us understands, truly, truly understands what he caused and how he impacted us. I just want to get the word out about it,” stated Hailey Wagner. 

They say this one reckless choice — cost them two precious lives.

Felix Antonio Juarez-Antunez in court.

Juarez-Antunez faces two counts of felony serious injury by motor vehicle and two counts of felony death by motor vehicle.

ICE has requested a detainer on Juarez-Antunez as well.

The Wagner family said they are faced with a lot of medical expenses and for the funeral of the grandmother.

Click here if you would like to donate.

There is also a go fund me set up for the family of Ethan Handly. 

Click here if you would like to donate.  


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