Charlotte woman gets 7 years in prison for man’s death in wrong-way crash on I-77

A Charlotte woman whose blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit when an Interstate 77 crash left a man dead received a sentence of seven years in prison Tuesday.

Nicole Claire Tanner, 28, pleaded guilty to felony DUI resulting in death Tuesday in York County criminal court at the Moss Justice Center. The fatal crash happened in November 2021.

Tanner had a blood alcohol level of .15 when her SUV heading south on the northbound side of I-77 struck another SUV heading north, 16th Circuit Senior Solicitor Matthew Shelton said in court. South Carolina law prohibits a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.

The driver of the other vehicle, Ajibril Crawford Blake, 32, formerly of Rock Hill, died at the scene.

Prosecutor Shelton and Tanner agreed to a cap of 10 years for the guilty plea, lawyers said in court. The charge carried a potential prison term of one to 25 years.

Resident York County Judge Dan Hall sentenced Tanner to seven years in the S.C. Department of Corrections. Hall said in court the dangers of drinking and driving are well-known and “inexcusable.”

Tanner did not speak in court other than to say: “I plead guilty.”

Tanner had no prior criminal or driving record, said her lawyer, Geoff Dunn of Rock Hill. Tanner had been out with friends before the crash, Dunn said in court. Tanner made a mistake that had tragic results, Dunn said.

“She (Tanner) wishes she could take it back,” Dunn said in court.

I-77 between Rock Hill and the North Carolina state line is the busiest stretch of road in York County and among the most heavily traveled in South Carolina, S.C. Department of Transportation statistics show.