One mother from North Carolina is living her worst nightmare. Last month during Hurricane Florence, 20-year-old Dazia Ideah Lee was attempting to flee the flood waters when her car suddenly became submerged. Her one-year-old son was swept away in the waters and later drowned. Now, she is facing criminal charges including driving on a closed highway and involuntary manslaughter as a result of the ordeal.

According to a spokesman for the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Lee and her one-year-old were driving to visit relatives when they approached Highway 218. The roadway was closed due to flooding, and obvious barricades and warnings were clearly posted. According to statements from Lee, an unknown individual had pushed the barricades away, so she believed it was safe to go through the area.

After entering the closed roadway, Lee’s car quickly approached waters that were too deep for the vehicle. Her car was swept away and off the road. Eventually, the vehicle became pinned against nearby trees. In a panic, Lee was able to successfully free her one-year-old from his car seat. Lee believed she had no choice but to attempt to escape on foot with her youngster. The hurricane flood waters quickly became too deep. Lee told authorities that the strong current made her lose her grip on her son. He was ripped from her arms and carried away in the rushing water. His body was later recovered on September 17.

Police argue that Lee’s decision to drive on the closed highway was negligent. The Sheriff’s Office claims the “deliberately drove around barricades.” Even after coming across rushing water on the road, Lee still attempted to push forward. After a thorough investigation, the police believe “these charges are appropriate.”